The Emerald Test

Fall 2016

Quantify Your Excellence

What is it?

The Emerald Test

Inter-Laboratory Comparison and Proficiency Test for Cannabis Testing Labs

The Emerald Test® is an Inter-laboratory Comparison Proficiency Testing (ILC/PT) program for evaluating how accurately  testing labs perform, by comparing how well the lab measures an anonymous sample. These programs are the standard in many testing industries, including environmental, food, pharmaceutical, water, petrochemical, and others. The results provide a benchmark for the industry in general, by elucidating how well the labs perform collectively. The data can also be used by the individual labs to demonstrate proficiency to their customers, or used internally to identify areas in need of improvement. The ILC/PT is often used by state regulatory bodies as a component of certification programs, and is commonly a requirement for various ISO certifications. Finally, the results provide a measure of assurance and reliability to the industry as a whole, and particularly to those who depend on the testing lab’s results for safety, health, and product performance.

The Emerald Test®  is offered twice each year (though individual PT’s are always available).

How it works

The Emerald Test® takes place in the Spring and Fall of each year, with enrollment open for a set period of time.  The components of each test are determined by the Emerald Test Advisory Panel.  Test Samples are manufactured by an ISO 17043 accredited PT provider and require overnight shipping.  After receiving and testing the sample,  labs have a window in which to complete the test and submit their results through an electronic data portal. Data analysis provided by AOCS using software designed to meet requirements of ISO 13528:2015.

Labs will receive their individual results, and once analysis is complete, will receive the overall test results, so as to see how they performed in relation to their peers.  Individual lab data is held in strict confidentiality, however cumulative (anonymous) data of all participants will be used for a variety of analyses, and may be published in appropriate journals and/or websites.  Labs that perform within a specific tolerance will be awarded an Emerald Test Badge, and all participants will be listed on the Emerald Test website.

Fall 2016 Test


Enrollment for the Fall 2016 Test was open from Thursday, September 1, through Friday, September 23rd, 5pm EST.  Purchasing any of the Emerald Tests automatically enrolls you in the program.  All tests require Overnight Shipping, which is included in the price of the test.  Pesticide and Microbial Tests will ship on October 11th, and arrive at your lab on October 12th.   Potency and Residual Solvents Tests will ship on October 18th, and arrive at your lab on October 19th.

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The Fall 2016 Emerald Test offers a broad range of tests to meet a lab’s internal and regulatory needs.

potencyThe Potency Test was comprised off a 5-part cannabinoid matrix in 1mL of Acetonitrile.  The test contained from 10-1000 µg/mL of THC, THC-A, CBD, CBD-A, and CBN.




Pesticide-PT-400x400The Pesticides Test was comprised of the following 13 analytes in a matrix, with quantities ranging from 10-1200 µg/kg

  • Abamectin
  • Azoxystrobin
  • Bifenazate
  • Etoxazole
  • Imazalil
  • Imadacloprid
  • Malathion
  • Myclobutanil
  • Permethrin
  • Spinosad
  • Spiromesifen
  • Spirotretsamat
  • Tebuconazole


residThe Residual Solvent Test was offered in a 2 parts for stability.

In Dimethylacetomide
In hemp oil matrix
  • n-butane 500-800ppm
  • iso-butane 500-800ppm
  • benzene 5-10ppm
  • m-xylene 2-10ppm
  • p-xylene 2-10ppm
  • o-xylene 2-10ppm
  • toluene 5-10ppm
  • heptane 500-800ppm
  • hexane 200-500ppm


Microbial-Panel-1-PT-400x400The Microbial Panel 1 Test was supplied as a 4 individual sample panel for quantitative determination of APC, Coliform/E.coli, Yeast/Mold and Enterobacteriaceae. Each vial was to be hydrated with 10mL of Butterfield’s Buffer prior to analysis.   Panel 1- Samples wewre prepared with natural hemp leaves and flowers inoculated with organisms of interest. Supplied in lypholized format for stability.




Microbial-Panel-2-PT-400x400The Microbial Panel 2 Test was supplied as a 3 sample panel for qualitative identification of salmonella spp. in hemp. One of these samples was positive for salmonella. Two of the samples of the panel contained non-pathogenic, non-salmonella species.




In conjunction with the Fall 2016 tests, we also offered:





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Submitting and reporting

Once labs complete the tests, results are to be submitted though an online portal.  Labs then received an email with a link with embedded credentials to securely input their results (instructions included in your shipment)   All labs must submit their results by Tuesday, November 1st, 2016, 5pm EST.

All submitted data was then  transferred to AOCS (American Oil Chemists Society) for processing and analysis using ISO 13528:2015 software and standards for ILC/PTs.  Preliminary reports will be  generated and returned to participants by Tuesday, November 15th.

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Spring 2016 Test Participating Labs

Anova Laboratory  BioTech Solutions Bona Fides Laboratory
Cascadia Labs CMT Laboratory Confidence Analaytics
CW Analytical DB Labs Delta Verde
Desert Valley Testing Dragon Analytical Excelsior Analytical
Flora Labs Freeman Lab Goat Labs
Gobi Analytical Grace Analytical Green Grower Labs
Green Leaf Humboldt Quality Assurance Laboratories Integrity Labs
Kenevir Research KS Labs Legend Technical Services
Medicine Creek Analytics OG Analytical pH Labs
Pharmlabs Pre Med Testing ProVerde Labs
PSI Labs SC Labs Steadfast Lab
The Spott  Steep Hill Labs – WA Steep Hill Labs – CA
Steep Hill Labs – NM Trace Analytics Washington  State
The Werc Shop

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If you have any questions about the Emerald Test, please call Kirsten Blake at 805-235-5353

The Badge


An Emerald Badge will be issued to top performing labs.  The criteria for selecting labs which receive an Emerald Badge is defined by the Emerald Test Advisory Panel.  In previous, single-analyte tests, the badge was awarded to labs which performed at or below =/-10% of the actual value of the test.  However, with multiple-analyte tests,  the calculations become more difficult.  The Advisory Panel has recommended the use of  a Z score of +/-1 to qualify for the badge.  This is a more robust and rational statistical evaluation that will be performed after all of the test data has been received.

Badges come with a one-year license, and can be used on the lab’s website, or for any digital or print marketing campaigns.  Display of the Emerald Test Badge demonstrates to its customers a lab’s proficiency and commitment to excellence.

Advisory Panel

The Emerald Test Advisory Panel defines the content of each test and the terms for data analysis as well as the criteria for receiving the Emerald Test Badge.  The 2016 advisory panelists are:

About Emerald Scientific

Emerald ScientificEmerald Scientific is the only reagent and equipment distribution company that exclusively serves the cannabis industry.  We provide quality reagents, supplies, and equipment to testing and extraction labs through our agreements with leading scientific product manufacturers, and we have developed our own kits and supplies to help improve efficiency and productivity in the testing labs. 

Encouraged by feedback from industry stakeholders and academics, we  developed the Emerald Test®, the first nationwide program for inter-laboratory comparison and proficiency testing (ILC/PT) specifically for the cannabis industry.     

We also hold the annual Emerald Conference – the first and biggest conference devoted exclusively to the Science of Cannabis.

We’d like to invite you to contact us anytime with any questions or comments, either about the ILC/PT, the Emerald Conference,  or about Emerald’s distribution business. Visit our website at, or call us  toll-free at 877-567-3598

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