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DNA-Based Pathogen Testing Promises to Revolutionize the Cannabis Industry

dna-based pathogen testing

With cannabis becoming legal in a majority of the United States of America, a number of new issues have arisen. Some of these issues rely on the creation of novel technologies for a solution.

When it comes to payments, cryptocurrencies like DASH fit the bill quite well. We covered this last week.

But there’s another issue that’s even more important when it comes to legal cannabis – testing for microbials.

Microbials like powdery mildew (PM) can pose serious threats to the human immune system when ingested. It’s vital that they are detected and dealt with before reaching the market.

dna-based pathogen testing

Cannabis leaf afflicted with powdery mildew.

Because of the potential impact on human health, regulatory agencies have begun imposing stricter standards on those who cultivate cannabis crops.

Previous methods of testing for pathogens have become inadequate in light of today’s commercial needs and regulations. DNA-based pathogen testing provides an incredible solution that promises to reduce the time, expense, and liability associated with traditional testing methods.

DNA-Based Pathogen Testing Proves Superior to Other Methods

More accurate methods of testing for harmful microbes have become necessary for both the industry and human health. Old methods such as microbial plating methods (petri dish testing) take too much time, can be inaccurate, and can’t be relied upon to identify potential threats.

dna-based pathogen testingIn fact, plating methods take so much time to identify contaminants that they have been rendered almost useless. In addition to often being inaccurate and unable to detect microbials that lie dormant, plating methods take so long to produce results that they simply are not feasible for facilitating commerce in today’s cannabis market.

These older methods can take days to produce results from a lab. And by the time contaminants have been identified, it’s usually too late anyway. By this time, the crop has already reached store shelves and been acquired by a user who then suffers the health consequences.

DNA-based pathogen testing can be done at lower cost, in a fraction of the time, and with greater accuracy of identifying pathogens.

DNA-Based Pathogen Testing for Cannabis

When a contaminated cannabis product finds its way to market, it can cause serious harm to users. Lung disorders, asthma, allergic reactions, fungal infections and more can all be caused by multiple strains of botanical fungi.

With  DNA-based pathogen testing, growers can figure out exactly where their cannabis supply chains have been contaminated. Even non-viable organisms that can still be a threat will be identified with few to no false negatives or false positives.

The following statement comes from CannabisBusinessExecutive.com:

“According to the California Bureau of Marijuana Control Code of Regulations, testing is required for all medical cannabis goods intended for consumption by inhalation, such as dried flower, kief, hashish, oil, and waxes. When inhaled, each of the aspergillus species are known to cause a variety of lung disorders, ranging from asthma, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis to invasive systemic fungal infections in immunocompromised hosts (people with weakened immune systems). The association between cannabis use and invasive and allergic pulmonary aspergillosis has been documented in a number of clinical cases.

One alternative is a DNA-based technology – a fast way of detecting pathogens that is mandated by regulatory agencies.”

A recent case where DNA-based pathogen testing would have saved a company’s reputation, as well as the health of many of its customers, is Chipotle in 2016. Most people will recall the popular food chain making headlines for all the wrong reasons during that year. An E.coli outbreak ravaged Chipotle’s supply chain, causing an untold number of their patrons to suffer infections.

The cannabis industry can now be free of the problems plaguing the food industry due to their ancient methods of agricultural and food microbial testing. By identifying the specific genetic sequence of pathogens, the safety of your products will be assured. Any contaminants can be traced back to their original source, enabling you to solve the problem at its root.

dna-based pathogen testing

HighTimes.com notes that in addition to DNA-based pathogen testing, other methods of testing have become available as well:

One product called the Pathogen Death Wand is being adapted from the food industry, where it has been used to kill E. coli and other food-born bacterias and pathogens. The device is currently being tested at a facility in Colorado and one in the Bay. So far, the technology looks very promising at eradicating fungus and bacteria pathogens.

However, some object to this method as being incomplete. While irradiating crops is supposed to kill viable cells of pathogens, it doesn’t always accomplish this. Instead, it can sometimes put those cells into a dormant stage, meaning they avoid detection by conventional means (petri dish testing).

So, even though irradiating crops might make them pass a test, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are free of pathogens. With DNA-based pathogen testing, however, microbes can be detected with absolute certainty.

DNA-Based Pathogen Testing is the Way of the Future

All things considered, nothing holds a light to DNA-based pathogen testing. Never before has there been a way to test for pathogens that detects microbes at the gene-level, meaning that nothing can escape it. Even if fungi spores have not been activated, for example, they will still be detected.

dna-based pathogen testing

With the cannabis industry booming, regulatory agencies have begun to bring down the hammer. And in this case, that is a good thing. While some growers may have difficulty adjusting to the new requirements for DNA-based pathogen testing at first, those who fail to adapt in time will fade into irrelevancy.

As more people consume cannabis in various forms, whether it be for recreational or medicinal purposes, the chances of things going wrong increases. For this reason, DNA-based pathogen testing has been invented and disseminated at the most crucial point in the history of cannabis.

Marijuana Stocks and DNA-Based Pathogen Testing

Once DNA-based pathogen testing becomes widespread, it will become a regulatory requirement for all companies. To be compliant, all companies that do testing will have to invest in DNA-based pathogen testing methods.

While companies that do the testing are small and privately-held, those who will have to enlist their services in the future are publicly held.

Abattis Bioceuticals, Corp. (ATTBF)

Abattis abides by all relevant laws for cannabis cultivation, including testing for pathogens. The company already has partnerships with a wide network of service providers for every step of the process for growing, drying, extracting, refining, and testing cannabis.

Affinor Growers, INC (RSSFF)

Affinor actually focuses on mining projects in Colombia and Canada. In recent years, however, they have turned their eye to growing high-quality medical marijuana, in addition to other non-GMO cash crops.

Affinor has a medical marijuana facility in Washington where it uses all the latest tech to control its growing and testing processes.

ATTBF is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Bedrocan Cannabis Corp. (BED.V)

Bedrocan prides itself on being one of the premier producers of medical marijuana in the world. One of their highest priorities is to deliver a quality product that is safe and complies with regulatory standards. The company accomplishes this in seven different countries, focusing on five specific strains to treat a variety of different diseases.

Companies like these will benefit enormously from DNA-based pathogen testing. Even before it becomes a universal regulatory requirement, it’s a safe bet that these businesses will adopt DNA-based pathogen testing for its accuracy and cost-efficiency.

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By |2018-07-16T11:22:29+00:00July 16th, 2018|Cannabis, marijuana stocks|

About the Author:

Brian Nibley is a freelance writer based out of California. He specializes in topics relating to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, finance, and marketing. Visit his portfolio at bdncontent.com, his blog at Bnibley.blogspot.com, and connect on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/bdncontent.