Frequently Asked Questions

The better you understand your medication, the better you can use it to help patients or treat your own conditions. Here are the answers to common questions regarding testing and test results.

FAQS for Business

Although there is a lack of regulation and consistency in standards in Arizona, many cannabis businesses choose to test their medications to prove their claims, drive sales, and feel confident they’re delivering safe, high-quality medications that will truly help patients. This testing ensures contaminants such as foreign material, mildew, mold, or other harmful substances like pesticides are not present. By providing honest, accurate, easy-to-understand test results, businesses gain the confidence that their medications are safe, reliable, and consistent, while patients gain the confidence to ask hard questions and hold the companies they buy from to a higher standard.
We test all cannabis-infused products and hemp products, such as cannabis flowers, solvent and non-solvent concentrates, edibles, tinctures, salves, topicals, and capsules.
We offer a wide variety of analytical services to ensure the safety and potency of your cannabis medicine. These analyses include: cannabinoid and terpene potency profiles, micro-biological screening, residual solvent analysis, pesticide, fungicide, plant growth regulator analysis, vape cartridge carrier analysis, and diketone detection. To translate complex test results into easy-to-understand information that businesses and patients can use to make informed decisions, our team provides a full consultation and analytical review along with all testing services.
We screen for a number of solvents including: acetone, acetonitrile, chloroform, ethanol, heptane, hexanes, isobutane, isopropanol, methanol, n-butane, and tolulene. It’s important to note that all concentrates derived using solvent extraction methods will have some level of residual solvents remaining. A concentrate’s safety is determined by how much of each solvent is present and what potential negative health effects are associated with them. Because Arizona is free from any regulation regarding residual solvent limits, we utilize AHPA (American Herbal Products Association) standards to determine safe versus unsafe levels of these compounds.
Samples may be dropped off at our Mesa lab Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. Free sample pickup is available within 25 miles of our lab. Sample pickup outside of that radius is available for an additional fee.
The minimum sample size for a single test is typically either 0.5 gram for concentrates or 1.0 gram for flower, though this varies depending on the type of analysis being performed. Edible samples should be submitted in their entirety.
C4 screens for many contaminants, but we can’t certify a sample as free of all contaminants. We certify that the samples pass our screening procedures for the contaminants for which we test — the ones that pose the greatest safety concerns — but there may be other unsafe aspects for which we don’t test. For some tests, such as our residual solvent screen, we list safety limits for jurisdictions where they’re available.

FAQS for Patients

Yes. We accept samples from all Arizona dispensaries and product manufacturers, as well as medical marijuana patients. Your patient card is required when you check in your sample. Pediatric patient consultations are provided free of charge.
Just ask! If a dispensary doesn’t know or can’t provide results, we recommend purchasing your medicine elsewhere. This is your health we’re talking about, and as a patient, you have a right to understand what you’re consuming.
There are a variety of factors to consider to ensure your medicine is safe and will effectively treat your symptoms. Here’s a list of some of the most common things to take into account based on the type of cannabis medication.

Flower
When was the testing performed? If the date is not within the last 90-120 days, then the test results are likely from a previous harvest, and they may not be representative of the medication currently available for purchase.

Concentrates
Residual solvents are commonly found within concentrates, so it’s important to ensure the level of solvents remaining is an amount considered safe for consumption. There also may be other potentially dangerous compounds in vape cartridges that are being used as carrier or cutting agents. For example, polyethylene glycol (PEG 400) has been found as a carrying agent in many vape products. When heated, the combustion of chemicals causes carcinogenic byproducts, resulting in exposure to harmful carcinogenic compounds such as formaldehyde.

Edibles
Edibles come in a variety of forms. In fact, anything you can imagine as food, drink, or candy will most likely be offered as cannabis-infused on a dispensary’s “medible” menu near you. Edible products present unique challenges in production to achieve consistent and accurate dosing. Quite often, we find that an edible’s potency does not align with its label, adding to the potential of patients under- or over-medicating.

Suppository, salves, lotions, transdermal patches, tinctures, etc.
With these types of products, it’s important to compare the concentration of cannabinoids present with the label claims made by the manufacturer. Also check to ensure there are no harmful contaminants.
Cannabis comes in a variety of different types, and knowing what to look for is crucial when choosing your medicine. As with all medicine, each patient’s unique body chemistry influences the impact cannabis has on them. It’s important to understand the chemical composition and therapeutic benefit of each cannabinoid and terpene present to achieve the intended results.

Terpenes
Terpenes provide the variations in scent found in cannabis and provide an assortment of medicinal benefits. Scent profiles can be very diverse, and you may detect aromas of floral, citrus, musk, or spice. Terpenes are also responsible for much of the flavor in cannabis. Terpenes are present in very low concentrations, but are responsible for a great deal of the total effect elicited. They work in a synergistic/complementary fashion to the cannabinoids that are present in your medicine.

Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis and cannabis-infused products that are responsible for many medicinal benefits through interaction with the endocannabinoid system in your body. At C4 Laboratories, we test for many variations of cannabinoids, such as THC-A, THC delta-9, THC delta-8, THC-V, CBD-A, CBD, CBD-V, CBG, CBN, and CBC. Each one of these cannabinoids has different properties that contribute to the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in relieving different symptoms.

While THC is the most famous cannabinoid because it delivers psychoactive properties, other cannabinoids can provide relief from numerous ailments. The better you know what you’re consuming, the better you can choose the correct strains in order to find relief from:

• pain
• muscle spasms
• inflammation
• nerve damage
• nausea
• anxiety
• depression
• headaches
• insomnia
• appetite loss
• seizures
• PTSD
While test results are the only quantifiable method to provide certainty about the quality and safety of medication, there are several visual clues to look for when purchasing flower. In fact, potency is not always an indication of quality or freshness.

How does it look?
Inspect the flower itself when choosing your medicine. There are some big visual cues that will help you immediately determine if your medicine is contaminated. Always looks for white spots and discoloration, as this can indicate the presence of mold or mildew.

What colors do you see?
With close visual inspection, you can expect to see various shades of green, blue, purple, and even orange or red. Color can run the gamut based on strain genetics and cannabinoid ratios. However, as a general rule, avoid flower that is brown or black as it may be an indication of bud rot.

How do the trichomes look?
The trichomes are the very small crystalline bulbs that are dispersed densely throughout the flower. They’re the part of the cannabis flower that produces cannabinoids and terpenes. The overall appearance of trichome density can be a sign of good cannabinoid concentration.

How does it smell?
The terpenes present provide specific aromatics, tastes, and flavors. Much like aromatherapy, patients may gravitate towards a certain bouquet according to their preference. The intensity of terpene profiles degrade over time, so a stronger scent is generally a good sign that the flower has been properly dried, cured, and stored. Trust your instincts. If you smell a musty scent, it may be an indication of mold.

How does it feel and sound?
Moisture content directly impacts the taste and smell of your flower. The drier the flower, the faster and hotter it will burn. Ideally, the flower’s surface should be slightly sticky on the fingertips from the trichomes. The flower should not fall apart when touched, and it should make a snapping noise when broken.

Always ensure you’re receiving the correct type of cannabis when purchasing your medicine. Even the most appealing bud with a tantalizing aroma may not be ideal for what you need to provide symptomatic relief.