How cannabis DNA testing identifies discrepancies and adulteration in the cannabis supply chain

DNA testing can be a powerful tool in identifying discrepancies in the supply chain of cannabis products, particularly in identifying adulteration of cannabis cultivars where what’s in the jar does not match the label. How? Every cultivar of cannabis has a unique DNA signature, just like every human has a unique fingerprint. By testing the DNA of cannabis plants at various stages in the supply chain, it is possible to determine the authenticity of the product and identify any adulteration in the chain. At best it is simple accidents- essentially unintended adulteration; however, at worst, it’s fraud.

For example, if a batch of cannabis plants is tested at the time of harvest and then again after it has been processed into a final product, DNA results can be compared to determine if any substitution or addition has taken place. If the DNA results do not match, it may indicate that the product has been adulterated with the wrong material. If intentional, it could be because the cultivator does not have enough material to fulfill an order size. It could be that certain material did not meet the mark for other reasons and they want to offload material from their inventory. It could be just that someone labeled the shipment the wrong cultivar. By DNA validating label veracity of products you purchase and source, your organization can identify and prevent the distribution of adulterated or fraudulent products in the market. 

In addition to detecting adulteration or fraud, DNA testing can also be used to verify the claimed strain of a product. For instance, some products may be labeled as one particular strain name, but DNA testing results may indicate that the product is actually a different strain altogether from that organization (or elsewhere). This type of validation can be used to protect consumers from cultivars they don’t want and also ensure that they receive the product they paid for.

Overall, DNA testing can be a valuable tool in ensuring the integrity of the cannabis supply chain. By using objective third party validation to showcase the purity and quality of your products, DNA testing can help to promote consumer safety and build consumer trust in the cannabis industry. As the industry continues to grow and become more regulated, the use of DNA testing is likely to become more widespread, helping to ensure that only safe and authentic products are available to consumers.

Want to validate that your products or sourced material are what they say they are? The LeafWorks Supply Chain Certification batch tests product as it flows through the supply chain to provide downstream clients a real COI that what’s on the label is really in the container. With CoAs in hand and a certified seal you can establish your brand above the rest. Learn more