Microbes are ubiquitous in most environments and thus, the presence of microbes on plant material is not uncharacteristic. This is especially true for cannabis grown indoors, as high temperature and high humidity environments are conducive to microbial growth. Some microbes exist as beneficial or mutual symbionts and pose no risk to plant or human health, while others may exist as harmless spores exhibiting no vegetative growth. However, some types such as Botrytis sp. (causing the common “bud rot” disease) may cause damage to the plant itself, while others are pathogenic to humans. Common pathogenic microbes that may pose risk to human health include E.coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella, and Staphylococcus aureus. The presence of these microbes or general microbial infection may be an indication of poor growing practises such as over-watering, over-crowding, poor air circulation, contaminated water, standing water, and poor sanitation and hygiene practises.
We use a variety of plating and microscopic techniques to determine if there is any microbial contamination of the cannabis sample.
Acceptable limits (USP 61, USP 62, USP 2203)
Total plate count (TPC) < 200 000 cfu/g
Total combined yeast and mold count (TCYMC) < 2 000 cfu/g
Bile tolerant gram negative bacteria (BTGN) < 2 000 cfu/g
Absence of E.coli
Absence of Salmonella
Absence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Absence of Shigella
Absence of Staphylococcus aureus