The Threat of Cannabinoid Inflation

inflation
Image credit: Digamma Consulting

Cannabinoid inflation is a practice where cannabis testing labs inflate cannabinoid concentrations in reports. Not only does this distort market dynamics, but it also compromises consumer safety. Digamma Consulting, experts in cannabis chemistry, dove more into this issue and discussed regulatory solutions in their latest white paper, Solutions to Cannabinoid Inflation.

As dispensaries gravitate towards labs offering higher THC values, the industry is seeing a concerning trend of laboratory shopping, exacerbating the problem further, according to the white paper. Left unchecked, cannabinoid inflation can jeopardize the viability of conscientious labs and poses a significant liability for medical patients reliant on accurate labeling for appropriate dosing.

Proposed Solutions for Cannabinoid Inflation

In response to this pressing issue, Digamma proffers three solutions tailored for government regulators:

  1. Data Analysis Reports: Adopting uniform data analysis reports enables regulators to identify trends and anomalies, facilitating targeted interventions to improve testing integrity.
  2. Suspect Product Checks: Implementing “secret shopper” programs enables independent validation of reported cannabinoid content, ensuring accuracy and consumer safety.
  3. Chemical Analysis Laboratory Audits: In-person audits uphold testing integrity by assessing compliance with standards and maintaining the credibility of testing processes.

“As cannabis lab fraud continues to expand, from 2016 to the present, we see a market where brazen labs that manipulate data dominate while honest scientists are rapidly forced out. Despite this alarming trend, solutions are possible, affordable, and implementable, and it is time to let both regulators and the industry know that there is a viable way to remedy this destructive practice,” said Marco Troiani, Digamma Co-Founder and CEO, in a news release.

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Spreading the Word

Last week, Digamma sent this white paper to cannabis regulators in 45 states and two territories to prompt a nationwide discussion about cannabinoid inflation and contaminant deflation, the organization stated. Based on their experience with cannabis analytical chemistry, they developed economical solutions for regulators to change enforcement practices that can help to stop lab fraud. These solutions are based on models taken from well-regulated testing markets such as the FDA and the EPA.

“Chem ID is proud to support Digamma Consulting’s multi-pronged initiative for combating potency inflation and fostering truth in labeling, which is aligned with our overall commitment to chemical data transparency, accessibility, and accountability,” ChemID Chief Product Officer Shawn Helmueller said in the release.

“As a chemical data platform provider, Chem ID helps facilitate the transfer of data from labs to regulators and other industry stakeholders. We believe that through dedicated software and application expertise, we can enhance testing integrity and ensure effective regulatory oversight and compliance while fostering trust and confidence in the emerging legal cannabis industry,” he continued.