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New Process For Testing Marijuana Contaminants

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University of New Haven Developing New Process for Testing Marijuana Contaminants


Heather Miller Coyle, a forensic botanist and associate professor at the University of New Haven in Connecticut has started to develop a new process to detect contaminants in marijuana through DNA profiling and analysis.  Coyle is working with her students to create a process that will quickly and easily identify contaminants and harmful substances in marijuana such as pesticides, mildew, insect parts, and E. coli.


Medical marijuana is now legal in twenty states plus Washington DC, but the majority of medical marijuana states do not have contaminant testing requirements. 


There are independent labs that test marijuana for contaminants and also potency, but there is no governing body to regulate them or their practices.


“If there’s no certification…it’s like saying we don’t check our meat for mad cow disease,” Coyle said. “That’s our goal as a private university, to develop the tools to address or mediate this issue.”

While no deaths have ever been directly contributed to marijuana, the effects of consistently inhaling chemicals or molds could be dangerous to one’s health, especially for patients who are already suffering from illnesses that may compromise their immune system.



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