In our previous articles we discussed the importance of some of the tests that we run during our manufacturing process. Today, we hope to give you a clear view of just how seriously we take your pet’s health by giving you a view of the frequency at which we perform these tests, as well as describing what some of the other tests cover. As always, we want you to feel safe and confident in choosing Canna Companion for your beloved pets.
There are several stages during our process at which we test our ingredients. For these purposes, the stages we are discussing are as follows: Primary ingredients, Pro-ingredients and Final Products. We release the COA for our Final Products, but due to proprietary concerns, the Primary and Pro-ingredients COAs are only for internal use.
This category encompasses all materials in a form which can either be utilized as received or must undergo varying processing modalities before moving into the category of Pro-ingredients. Upon admittance into the facility, primary ingredients are stored in our quarantine area and not released until satisfactory results on the following tests are received. If any material fails any one test, it is never put into production and new ingredients are ordered. Failed ingredients are disposed of per individual requirements.
- Residual Solvent Analysis (RSA) – We do not use any primary ingredients manufactured with hydrocarbons, such as butane, naphthalene, hexane, or pentane. We use products derived from CO2 extraction. Ethanol is often used as a wash to remove excess plant waxes, but we ensure the ethanol is either eliminated or well below our medically derived cut-off level in this ingredient category. This is a contractual requirement from our vendors before shipment.
- Mycotoxin – This is a fungal toxin which develops in improperly stored and handled corn and other crops, and can potentially enter the ingredient chain via contaminated ethanol. Similar to residual solvents, suppliers are contractually obligated to provide mycotoxin levels which are below 20 ppb. This means once a primary ingredient is processed, final mycotoxin levels are even lower or undetectable.
- Pesticides – We test for residual pesticides. It is a set panel offered by our certified state laboratory. Only a test result of “ND” (none detected) is acceptable for internal specifications.
- Heavy Metals – We have been testing our primary ingredients for heavy metals as soon as our third-party laboratory began offering it (about 1 yr ago). Washington state does not require heavy metal testing on all products, and state certified testing laboratories where slow to adopt as a result. Now that it is offered at our primary certified laboratory, the panel will be run on all product categories.
- Microbial – We test for the most common pathogens for our patient population, including E. coli & Salmonella as well as for Enterobacter species. E. coli & Salmonella must test negative. Enterobacter concentrations are allowed in trace amounts as standard tests do not differentiate between pathogenic (disease-causing) and non-pathogenic (commensal, non-disease producing) organisms. If concerned, we send a product sample to bacterial identification and proceed from there.
- Potency & terpene – These tests determine the overall concentrations of detectable phytocannabinoids and terpenes. We maintain strict ratios between cannabinoids and require terpene contents to remain within specified ranges. Neither test is 100% accurate and some variation is anticipated. That said, we ensure THC levels are <0.3%, individual and total terpene levels are within appropriate physiological ranges (likely to assist the ECS and unlikely to do harm) and all values are consistent with internal calculations.
These are ingredients that we manufacture in-house. They are made from Primary ingredients and are the products of several multistage processes. These intermediary products, when finished, are ready to be used for final production. At this step, we retest everything as above, making sure a contaminant didn’t get into the production line or that human error is caught before final products are ready for your pet. If any material fails any one of the following tests, follow up tests are performed; if an ingredient fails follow up testing, it is destroyed. All ingredients awaiting test results are kept in quarantine to ensure the production stream remains clean.
These are the finished products, which are sold to clients. At this step, we perform one more round of testing and treat the same as primary and pro ingredients: if it fails initial testing, additional tests are run; if it doesn’t pass, then the product is destroyed.
What Do These Tests Mean?
As you can see, we take your pet’s safety very seriously, repeating tests at multiple stages to ensure that no contaminants are present to begin with nor are introduced in the manufacturing process. Several of these tests are not required by any regulatory agency. We want to ensure that we provide you with nothing but the very best.
What is it, though, that all of these tests cover? Besides the obvious – making sure ingredients and final products are free of harmful chemicals for your pet – results help us maintain Good Manufacturing Practices. Our employees are proud to hold WA State Food Safety cards, and work hard to ensure a clean and safe manufacturing environment. We share test results with them so they have proof all their efforts pay off. Everyone at Canna Companion is committed to producing high quality products with your pets in mind.
We hope this gives you a better insight into the precautions that we take in order to ensure that we are providing you with the safest possible product. In the future, we intend to cover what constitutes a true whole plant or full spectrum product versus a single only or near full spectrum product.