ASTM WK69532

    New Specification for Real-Time Storage and Testing of Cannabis Plant Material for Smoking and Use by Date

    (What is a Work Item?)

    Developed by Subcommittee: D37.03 | Committee D37 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    1.1 This standard specifies how cannabis plant material will be stored for determination of real-time stability. The conditions of storage of the sample is a critical part of the assay for long-term stability and value of the cannabis plant product. 1.2 Whether grown in green houses or the open air, cannabis plant materials will require some period of storage after harvest. Cannabis plant products are not stable indefinitely. In particular, cannabis plant products can be degraded by microbes, which may leave residues, some of which are toxic to humans. Over time, chemicals associated with critical quality attributes (CQAs) may evaporate or degrade which affects product efficacy, quality, safety, and associated value. The material will include periods of short- and long-term storage depending on the idiosyncrasies of the processing and supply chain. Retail purchasers also need guidance on safe storage protocol and use by date. 1.3 Cannabis plant products may contain many compounds that satisfy CQAs such as flavor, pain relief, and psychological activity. These CQAs are often a matter of individual choice. 1.4 The structure of cannabis plant parts is often fragile. CQAs such as flavor can be adversely affected by manipulation or improper storage of the plant parts. 1.5 This specification is designed to set standards for sample storage by a laboratory involved in storing samples for real-time stability assay under conditions designed to provide data on the stability of the particular batch of cannabis plant product. 1.6 The use by date is determined by applying the stability data to the date of packaging. It includes time for distribution, plus storage by the end user. The use by date may be different for different cultivars, and also purposes. 1.6 The use by date for the samples processed in accordance with this specification has a particular focus on cannabis plant products processed and packaged for smoking. Vaping is outside of the intended scope of this specification. 1.7 The results from real-time stability also should provide information useful in calibrating accelerated stability estimations of use by date. 1.8 Where this specification differs with local or national jurisdictions, the stricter of the two will take precedence. If this specification contradicts local or national regulations, the laboratory should consider conducting a study to evaluate and resolve the difference. 1.9 UnitsThe values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. 1.10 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. 1.11 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of international Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    cannabis plant material; real-time stability test; storage


    Cannabis plant material changes with time. Conditions of harvest, drying, processing and storage all may affect the rate of change. Use-by-dates are required by some jurisdictions for consumer protection. Determining use-by-dates requires data obtained over different storage periods. The influence of other variables needs to be tightly controlled, by rigorous control of the post-harvest process. The critical quality attributes for cannabis products for smoking are different than other cannabis products. Controlling water vapor is one example. If the material is too wet, microbes will grow. Microbes can produce aflatoxins, which are very toxic to humans. If the material is too dry, it burns too fast for smoking.

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Robert Stevenson

    Draft Under Development