Excelsior analytical laboratory testing services

We offer the following analytical services to the medicinal cannabis industry:

  • Cannabinoid Potency
  • Terpene / Terpenoid Profiling
  • Microbial Contamination
  • Residual Solvent Analysis
  • Pesticide Testing
  • Molecular Tests:
    • Male / Female Plant Determination
    • Cannabidiol Allele
  • Consulting Services
Learn More About Our Services...



Cannabinoid Potency

Cannabinoids are the primary active ingredients found in cannabis based medicines. We test for cannabinoid potency using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Our routine potency analysis identifies and quantifies the following important cannabinoids:

  • trans-(-)-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • trans-(-)-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)
  • cannabidiol (CBD)
  • cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)
  • cannabigerol (CBG)
  • cannabigerolic acid (CBGA)
  • cannabinol (CBN)

Specialized or custom analysis of other minor or rare cannabinoids such as cannabichromene (CBC) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is available upon request. Analysis of hard to identify, rare, or unknown cannabinoids by mass spectrometery is available upon request.



Microbiological Contamination

Just like people, plants also have a microbiome. Bacteria and fungi are naturally found on cannabis in levels that are usually harmless. However, there are a number of safety issues concerning excessive microbial contamination of cannabis. If cannabis is not dried properly or grown under improper conditions potentially harmful fungi and bacteria can proliferate. A particular at risk group from certain kinds of microbial contamination include patients whose immune systems are compromised. Excessive fungal levels can also be a problem for non-immune compromised patients due to mycotoxins produced by certain fungal species.

We use a molecular biology based technology called real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in which microorganisms are detected by seeking out specific, unique sequences in their DNA. Using this technology we currently can perform the following microbial tests:

Groups of microorganisms total levels:

  • Yeast / Mold (fungi)i
  • Aerobic Bacteria
  • Coliforms
  • Enterobacteria

Specific microorganism presence:

  • E. coli
  • Salmonella
  • Aspergillus niger
  • Aspergillus flavus
  • Aspergillus fumigates
  • Aspergillus terreus


Residual Solvent analysis

Cannabis extracts also known as concentrates are often manufactured using gas or liquid solvents. These solvents can leave behind chemical residues which at certain levels could be harmful. We use headspace gas chromatography with flame ionization detection for quantification of 21 residual solvent compounds found in cannabis extracts. In addition with aid of mass spectrometer we can also detect and identify other potentially harmful residual solvent chemicals.




Pesticides such as fungicides and insecticides are another source of contamination in cannabis products. Dangerous pesticides are routinely found on medicinal cannabis products available in California. Pesticides are tested for using liquid chromatogrpahy with triple quadrupole mass spectrometer.  We currently screen for 56 pesticides, and we are rapidly expanding our capability to detect more.



molecular tests

Using similar technology as is used in our microbial testing we can use molecular methods to aid grower and breeders. Often it is useful for cannabis cultivators to know the sex (male / female) of a cannabis plant before going from vegetative to reproductive stage. We can identify whether a cannabis plant is male or female by analyzing its DNA. We can also test for the genes that can predict whether a cannabis plant will produce higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD). This allows breeders to select for plants likely to produce higher levels of CBD when breeding new varieties.



consulting services

Our scientists offer a range of consulting services tailored to various aspects of the cannabis industry. We have experience advising growers on breeding and good cultivation practices. We have worked with manufacturers to develop consistent and safe products. We have substantial knowledge base concerning cannabinoid and terpenoid formulations.  We provide consulting on regulatory compliance and regulatory documentation.  We also provide educational services to dispensaries and patients.