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Proposed Test Method Aims to Help Cannabis Producers with Safety, Quality


ASTM International’s cannabis committee (D37) is developing a standard to analyze terpenes and cannabinoids in cannabis and cannabis extracts (WK68772). This standard could help producers improve product quality, according to committee members.

According to ASTM International member Randall Shearer, the proposed standard uses gas chromatography to help hemp extractors: determine efficiency of their extraction process, meet regulatory requirements, and monitor CBD and THC concentrations. He adds that the standard could also help monitor terpenes, which impart the odor and flavor of cannabis products. 

Shearer, a visiting researcher at the University of Colorado, adds that while typically it is difficult to visually determine the difference between marijuana and hemp, this method will help distinguish them chemically.

In addition to hemp extractors, this standard could help cultivators, producers, and regulatory bodies, Shearer says, adding, “Third-party testing plays an important role in verifying that products are safe and possess desired potency and properties. Testing laboratories could use this method to supply consumers with the information they demand.” 

He also says that more knowledge of cannabinoids and terpenes, in turn, helps support safer and more accurate use of cannabis for patients, consumers, and medical professionals.

For more information on ASTM International’s cannabis committee, please watch this video.

Become a member at The next meeting of the ASTM International committee on cannabis is February 22, 2020, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Georgia, USA. 



Media Inquiries: Dan Bergels, tel +1.610.832.9602; 

Committee Contact: Robert Morgan, tel +1.610.832.9732; 


Release #10844


July 16, 2019

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