Cannabis And Hemp Residual Solvents Testing

What Are Residual Solvents?

Residual solvents are organic volatile chemicals that are used in the manufacturing or extraction process.

In cannabis, they are used to extract cannabinoids or terpenes from the plant material. These solvents are often not completely removed by practical manufacturing or extraction processes. Therefore, testing for these chemicals is required in many industries, including cannabis.

The Importance of Residual Solvent Testing in Cannabis Products

During the production of cannabis extracts and concentrates, organic solvents, such as butane, ethanol, CO2 and propane, are used to extract and isolate active ingredients, such as THC, from the plant material.

The extraction process is typically a solvent intensive process and requires skill to remove solvents. Manufactures go to great lengths to heat/vacuum purge out remaining solvents. Residual solvent testing identifies the presence of these harmful solvents, impurities and other trace residues. Residual solvent testing is crucial in order to assess the efficiency of the manufacturing process and the quality of the product for safe consumption.

How residual solvent testing is conducted at Green Leaf Lab

Green Leaf Lab analyzes Residual Solvents utilizing a Headspace GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy) also known as static headspace analysis.

Samples are sealed in an airtight vial and heated at a specified temperature until volatilized. This gas is then injected into the GC, which separates the various compounds based on size and polarity. Once separated, the compounds enter the mass selective detector to be identified and quantified.

Residual Solvent Analyte

Analyte list with Chemical Abstract Services Registry Number
SOLVENT ANALYTECAS No.
1,2-Dichloroethane*107-06-2
1,4-Dioxaneᵃ123-91-1
2-Butanolᵃ78-92-2
2-Ethoxyethanolᵃ110-80-5
2-Propanol (IPA)67-63-0
Acetone67-64-1
Acetonitrile75-05-8
Benzene71-43-2
Butanes106-97-8
Chloroform*67-66-3
Cumeneᵃ98-82-8
Cyclohexaneᵃ110-82-7
Dichloromethaneᵃ75-09-2
Ethanol*64-17-5
Ethyl acetate141-78-6
Ethylene glycolᵃ107-21-1
Ethylene oxide75-21-8
Ethyl ether60-29-7
Heptane142-82-5
Hexanes110-54-3
Isopropyl acetateᵃ108-21-4
Methanol67-56-1
Methylene chloride*62-73-7
Pentanes109-66-0
Propane74-98-6
Tetrahydrofuranᵃ109-99-9
Toluene108-88-3
Trichloroethylene79-01-6
Total XylenesTotal xylenes are 1,2-dimethylbenzene 95-47-6,
1,3-dimethylbenzene 108-38-3, and
1,4-dimethylbenzene 106-42-3

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