Shimadzu: Analytical toolbox for hemp and cannabis testing

Shimadzu is one of the world’s leading providers of analytical instrumentation. Their systems are essential tools for consumer and product safety in almost all industrial segments. Ever since its foundation in 1875 Shimadzu is in the service of science, ensuring precise, reliable analyses in medicine, chemistry, pharmacy, food or environmental control. In the United States, Shimadzu has been at the forefront of working with cannabis testing laboratories and gained a comprehensive understanding of the requirements of this evolving industry.

Home / News / Shimadzu: Analytical toolbox for hemp and cannabis testing

As the medicinal cannabis market continues to grow, analytical testing will ensure that consumers are receiving accurately labeled products that are free from contamination.

Shimadzu is ready to assist these efforts with a full suite of testing instruments and scientifically proven methods. From accurate potency testing and terpene profiling to contaminate testing for pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals and mycotoxins, Shimadzu offers scalable solutions to meet evolving requirements.


Figure 1: Shimadzu’s cannabis testing solution

QC testing for cannabinoids is essential for the accurate labeling of cannabis and hemp products. HPLC has emerged as the gold standard for potency testing, as it provides accurate quantification even at low limits of detection for the cannabinoids of interest. An example chromatogram can be seen in figure 2.


Figure 2: Chromatograms of 10 mg/L standard mixture and cannabis flower samples

Terpene profiling, which provides information about the identity, as well as quality of a product, is reliably achieved using gas chromatography (GC) with flame ionization (FID) or mass spectrometry (MS) detection. The same equipment can also be used for analysis of residual solvents.

Pesticides, as used in commercial cannabis growth operations, can be carcinogenic and cause serious health issues. Shimadzu offers highly sensitive analysis of residual pesticides by GCMS, as well as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS).

Absence of heavy metals can be ensured by analysis using an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICPMS) which can measure low levels of these toxic contaminants.

Last but not least, with its high moisture content, long-term storage of cannabis can incur fungal growth resulting in production of mycotoxins. Regulatory bodies have placed restrictions on the allowable limits present in products for human consumption and LCMS is the instrumentation that enables rapid testing for mycotoxins at ultralow levels.



Shimadzu’s analytical toolbox covers the complete array of system configurations, enabling cannabis testing labs to operate efficiently and fully compliant with international regulations.