Importance of Testing
One advantage of a regulated cannabis industry is that the product being consumed is cleaner, healthier and safer.
States that choose to criminalize and ignore cannabis consumption allow an underground market without citizen safeguards. While states that have embraced regulation require lab testing, product analysis and accurate compound reporting. So they know their stuff is clean, they are better protected and know exactly what they are getting so product selection to accomplish a particular effect is more precise.
WHAT IT OFFERS
Though testing and lab requirements vary state by state, most provide the services of cannabinoid content, potency verification, moisture content, water activity, pesticide testing and identification of extraction solvents. Some also provide advanced analysis such as bacteria testing or terpene profiles.
One of the main services offered by labs is analysis of product, whether its flower, concentrate or edible, to determine what compounds (THC, CBD, CBG, CBN) are found within. Cannabinoid profiling provides precise compound makeup in percentages and milligrams so people can get exactly what they are looking for. However, many think terpenes are better predictors of a strain's effects than compounds or potency.
Terpenoids drive the smell and flavor in a strain and can influence the effect that strain delivers. But the only way to know for sure which terpenes reside in a strain is to have it analyzed to get it's terpene profile. Ask your dispensary if they offer terpene profiles for their strains to help make your selection and, if not, ask them to do so.