Residual Solvents Analysis

What Are Residual Solvents?

In the cannabis industry, solvents (also referred to as processing chemicals) are volatile organic compounds used to extract cannabinoids and/or terpenes from plant material. Manufacturers utilize the chemical properties of different solvents to produce a wide array of products from topicals to vaporizer cartridges. More often than not, steps are taken to purge these compounds but like the name, residual solvents implies, not all are properly removed and can remain as residues in final retail products. 

Why is Residual Solvent Testing Important?

Testing for residual solvents is important because of the detrimental effects they can have on the consumer. Residual solvents are separated into three categories based on their potential toxicity level.  Class 1 residual solvents have known or strongly suspected carcinogenic properties and/or environmental hazards. Class 2 residual solvents are suspected of other significant but reversible toxicities and Class 3 residual solvents are considered to have low toxic potential.