Microorganisms, such as bacteria and mold, are ubiquitous in plant products. Although most mold and mildew contaminating cannabis are not infectious, certain microbes such as Aspergillus spp., can be transmitted via inhalation and pose a heightened risk of infection.
At 3B Analytical, we use established methodologies in combination with advanced technology to provide our customers with reliable mold and mildew plate counts in as little as 48 hours. Our mold and mildew screening is fully compliant with HB 3460. In accordance with HB 3460, a sample of medical marijuana shall be deemed positive when it exceeds 10,000 CFU/g. We also offer aerobic plate counts (APC) if your medical marijuana needs require a quantitative enumeration of aerobic bacteria. Having this extra test done is good practice if the product is intended for immunocompromised individuals (e.g. the aged, HIV-infected, and those receiving chemotherapy treatments). Aerobic plate count screenings are also highly recommended for all edibles.
Visual inspections alone are not compliant with current HB 3460 regulations. Be careful when choosing a cannabis lab for your microbial analysis. You could be waiting a week for your results, or worse, you may be putting yourself and patients at risk by not having your medical marijuana tested at a laboratory that does a proper microbial analysis.
Bacteriological Analytical Manual (FDA 2013a) http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/LaboratoryMethods/ucm2006949.htm
Cannabis Inflorescence, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Monograph, Dec 2013