Scientists at the University of New Haven in Connecticut are developing a new way to test marijuana for contaminants such as mold, insect parts, salmonella and E. coli. The resulting methods and procedures could eventually be marketed to the cannabis industry as a way to test purity levels.
Heather Miller Coyle, an associate professor at the university, said the school has not yet decided whether it will sell the testing procedure or allow customers to use it for free. The university could also establish its own commercial marijuana testing lab, she said.
The test involves creating DNA profiles for mold, viruses, bacteria and other contaminants found in marijuana. The profile is then compared with DNA profiles of organisms kept in other databases. The test can also determine whether cannabis material is real marijuana or a synthetic version comprising non-marijuana herbs sprayed with THC.
“What we’re trying to do is put the information together in a user-friendly format,” Coyle told the Huffington Post. “Having some better technology in place is a good thing.”
The testing procedure is an extension of the DNA profiling the school performed for the Federal Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The government agency awarded the university a $100,000 grant to create a marijuana DNA database. The database helps law enforcement determine where illegal marijuana distributors get their product.