E20-01: Understanding the Cannabis Landscape from Seed to Testing

Monday, Oct. 5 – Tuesday, Oct. 6; 10:00am – 2:30pm

Dr. Susan Audino, S.A.Audino & Associates, LLC, Wilmington, DE

Cannabis is a complex plant with an estimated 500 components of which 100 known cannabinoids and up to 200 terpenes and flavonoids.  As a federally prohibited schedule 1 drug, several states are self-regulating in the interest of consumer safety.  Neither the regulations nor the requirements to meet those regulations are straightforward.  This course will broadly cover the current cannabis landscape with particular attention to the regulatory structure and challenges of cannabis testing laboratories and discussion of current “hot” topics such as standard testing, development of standards, vaping, and the USDA requirements related to the 2018 amended Hemp Bill.

Scientists who are interested but not directly involved in the cannabis industry.  This class is also applicable for persons interested in laboratory testing or regulatory bodies that are currently overseeing cannabis commissions or who are likely to oversee such commission in the near future.

  1. Cannabis – Brief history and Nomenclature
    a. Hemp vs. Marijuana
    b. Ancient use in medicinal and religious rituals and recent US history
    c. Selective breeding and chemovars
  2. Components of the cannabis plant
    a. Cannabinoids – Endocannabinoids, Phytocannabinoids
    b. Terpenes
    c. Flavonoids
  3. Purported Therapeutic Benefits of Cannabis
  4. Comparison in Regulatory Requirements for Cannabis and Foods and Feeds
    a. US and EU Regulations
    b. Compliance vs. Quality Testing requirements
    c. Standard Test Methods and Associations focused on developing “standards”
    d. Implications of Amended Hemp Bill passed on 12/20/2018 & USDA Interim Report Requirements
  5. Typical Analytical Testing
    a. Requirements for 17925 accredited laboratories
    b. Challenges associated with testing cannabis
    c. Published Voluntary Consensus/Standard Test Methods

Dr. Susan Audino
is a chemist/chemometrician and independent consultant to chemical and biological laboratories.  On behalf of Accreditation Bodies, she assesses laboratories to and is an instructor for multiple ISO/IEC standards including ISO 17025.  She is highly visible in the cannabis industry as a leader for the development of official and consensus test methods, and member of expert review panels.  She also serves as scientific advisor to multiple cannabis testing laboratories, private and non-profit cannabis organizations, and state regulatory bodies.  Dr. Audino has chaired the AOAC cannabis advisory panel and analytical cannabis working groups, and has been an invited speaker at many domestic and international conferences. And in January 2020 was appointed to serve as Scientific Advisor to the AOAC International Cannabis Analytical Science Program (CASP).