PerkinElmer offers first-ever automated pesticide testing for cannabis

Published Oct 24, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Ivan-balvan

One of the leading companies committed to providing a healthier world has launched the cannabis industries' first fully automated pesticide residue cannabis testing. PerkinElmer supports scientists and researchers as they address the critical challenges across healthcare and science. What does this mean for the cannabis consumer?

The importance of cannabis testing

Cannabis technology has proven to be essential in cannabis testing for providing proper labels for these types of products. Perhaps one of the utmost reasons for cannabis testing is to ensure that cannabis products are free of harmful chemicals that could cause damage to the cannabis consumer. Some of those chemicals can include things like residual solvents that could be leftover from the extraction process. Cannabis testing also looks for additives or contaminants that may have accidentally contacted the product during the production cycle.

Name that pesticide

Many common pesticides are used in the growing of cannabis, and some of them include synthetic piperonyl butoxide (PBO). According to the EPA, PBO is considered to be safe, but it does come with some risks. According to Pesticides and You Journal, PBO has been associated with various human health dangers, some of which include neurotoxicity, liver disease, and cancer.

Step by step

The workflow for pesticide residue begins with an integrated microbalance that reports and communicates the cannabis sample and weight data. A multi-step cannabis sample procedure is then taken by PerkinElmer’s new liquid and sample handling system and executed automatically by the Janus G3 420 Workstation Sample.

Vortexing, filtering, diluting, and centrifuging are conducted by robotic technology and will include integrated scanning and barcodes. The new dedicated SOP's provides consistent implementation with the new One Pesticide 20 Reagent Kit, delivering calibration and quality control with all of the preparation consumables need.


Cannabis testing is continued in the PerkinElmer industry leading QSight 420 LC/MS/MS and keeping in sync with California’s ISO 17025:2017 regulation requirements. A final step in cannabis technology includes a full cannabis sample traceability. The new PerkinElmer cloud-based Simplicity Lab 420 software supports every batch method transfer and creation, integration with LIMS systems, and a remote workflow monitoring method.

The numbers

Greg Sears, VP, and GM of Food & Organic Mass Spectrometry, reports that on average, cannabis labs are performing up to 1000 pesticide analyses each month. Sixty percent of the cannabis testing time is spent on manual sample preparation. Combining all the necessary lab pieces to complete the cannabis testing and tackle the pesticide analysis on the new workflow solution provides a streamlined approach, which ultimately helps to increase compliance, consumer protection, and productivity while also saving money and time.

Last words

The automated methods for the Janus G3 workstations are a sure-fire way of streamlining your cannabis testing processes. There is no need to purchase a different liquid handler to enable the automation of each test, and with the availability of four other models, the Janus G3 workstation will help eliminate the preparation bottlenecks that are occurring with cannabis samples. Cannabis technology is moving forward, and the consumer is the beneficiary of this fantastic cannabis technology.

Cannabis technology highlights from 2020


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