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Scientist Developing Test to Detect Contaminants in Marijuana

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A scientist at the University of New Haven is developing a new test to detect contaminants such as mold and mildew in marijuana, CBS News reports.

Marijuana can also contain insect parts, salmonella and E. coli, according to Heather Miller Coyle, a forensic botanist and associate professor at the university. She is using DNA profiling and analysis to detect these contaminants in marijuana. She hopes to be able to make analysis easier and faster for labs, as the demand for marijuana quality control testing grows.

Currently, labs around the country are testing marijuana for contaminants using a variety of methods. Marijuana can develop mold if it is not dried adequately or stored properly after being harvested. It can become contaminated with E. coli and other substances by being near farm animals, the article notes.

A study published earlier this year in the Journal of Toxicology found pesticide residues on marijuana are transferred to inhaled marijuana smoke. This “may pose a significant toxicological threat in the absence of adequate regulatory frameworks,” the authors conclude.

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