Testing cannabis for potency and contaminants is done at sophisticated labs in legal states — but did you know you can also test your weed at home? There are plenty of kits you can order online that will test both your flower and cannabis concentrates for cannabinoids, including the biggies, THC and CBD. Some kits will even test for terpenes and contaminants, like mold, bacteria and pesticides.

Why Potency Testing Is Important

For those among us who will smoke any old bud, potency testing may seem like a waste of time. But for growers, medical marijuana patients and conscious consumers, at-home potency testing kits are helpful for a number of reasons.

For Consumers: If you test your bud for cannabinoids and terpenes, you can really get to know what kind of cannabinoid profiles you enjoy and what effects they’ll have when you consume your cannabis products. Sophisticated cannabis connoisseurs are learning which cannabinoid and terpene combinations help them relax, or feel more productive, or what helps with issues including pain management, anxiety and depression.

For Medical Cannabis Patients:
Similar to why sophisticated consumers test their weed, specific cannabinoid profiles are especially important to medical marijuana patients. People with certain ailments need certain cannabinoids, like CBD for treatment and relief. Plus, testing for contaminants like bacteria, mold and pesticides can be crucial to medical patients who have compromised immune systems.

For Growers: Growers may benefit the most from testing their crop’s potency. Cultivators can test and track their buds’ effectiveness and compare it with techniques used for growing, as well as environmental factors that may impact their garden. For instance, they can track their weed’s potency depending on harvest time, lighting schedule and nutrients, to help them develop best practices for the strongest bud possible. Also, growers can price their weed accurately if they know the percentage of certain valuable cannabinoids, especially THC and CBD.

For Buying Black-Market Weed: If you don’t live in a place where cannabis is legal, you can test the product you get from your seller for both potency and cannabinoid percentages. Because that weed is unregulated, most people don’t have any idea what they’re consuming, unless they have a personal relationship with a trusted grower. It’s a good idea to test your stash every once a while, especially to see if your vendor can be trusted.

Which At-Home Kit To Use?

There are a ton of options out there, so how do you know which at-home kit to buy? We recommend trying Alpha-Cat, which tests for THC, THCV, CBG, CBN, CBC and CBD. Each test only costs around $10 and is easy to perform without having to first earn a degree in chemistry.

Our final piece of advice? Remain vigilant when researching at-home kits, and don’t spend a fortune. Many websites tend to make a lot of big claims, so use your best judgement to separate the tricksters from the trustworthy.