Evaluation of Modified QuEChERS for Pesticide Analysis in Cannabis
While systems for growing, production and sale of cannabis and cannabis related products are well established, regulation and enforcement of quality and safety testing have lagged behind. However, state governments and private labs are focusing on product safety testing with special emphasis on pesticide analysis. This is partially the result of various product recalls, media attention and concern from patient advocacy groups.
We evaluated a modified QuEChERS LC-MS/MS method for analysis of multiresidue pesticides. The AOAC QuEChERS method was used for a reduced 1.5 g amount of plant material and processed with a universal dSPE formulation. LC-MS/MS analysis used constant polarity switching ESI and monitored at least two transitions per analyte. Matrix-matched calibration was used for quantitation and both method and instrument internal standards were used. Analyte recovery validation was performed according to FDA guidelines by testing three matrices at three fortification levels in triplicate for over 200 pesticides. For the large majority of pesticides, in all three matrices and at all three fortification levels, recovery was between 70-120%.