About Medical Cannabis

Marijuana has existed and been consumed, both medicinally and recreationally, for millennia. While there are many species and varieties of the marijuana plant, the most popular are cannabis sativa and cannabis indica (cannabis is the botanical name of marijuana). The Sativa plant is taller with thinner leaves and is known for having a stronger psychoactive effect.  Indica is a shorter plant with thicker leaves and is historically known and used for it's pain relieving effects.

In ancient China, marijuana was grown and used as a treatment for numerous ailments ranging from gout to malaria. Evidence from East India shows successful uses of medicinal cannabis dating all the way back to the first millennium BC. Descriptions of medicinal cannabis can be found in the classical Roman medical texts of Galen and Dioscorides. They suggested the use of the "juice of the seed" to treat such concerns as earaches and lagging libido. It was also prescribed for its analgesic benefits.

Writings of the ancient Assyryans also mention cannabis as "qunnabu", and some biblical historians believe that "qunnabu" also means "kaneh bosn", or "aromatic cane" as in Exodus 30:23.

In 1994, evidence of an archeological nature was found that points to medical marijuana use in third century AD Egypt. The tomb of a young woman that had died while giving birth was found to contain hashish, a concentrated cannabis resin, likely used to help ease the pain of childbirth. Cannabis was also popular during the Victorian Era to relieve a myriad of conditiond, such as asthma, migraines, neuralgia, insomnia and the discomforts of menstruation.

Why Test Your Cannabis?


There are three basic points to consider when it comes to determining the safety of medical marijuana:

  • Microbes
  • Chemical growth additives
  • Residual solvents


Bacteria, fungi, and mold are stubborn, tough to control, and sometimes are found in even the most well maintained gardens. Through the lens of a high-powered dissecting microscope, we scrutinize all samples and report the discovery of any disease, microbes, foreign fibers, pests, or evidence of mishandling.


Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other chemical additives are widely used at each stage of growth to stimulate plant growth or stunt parasitic growth. While the marijuana plant will respond to these chemicals and get bigger or more potent, these elements are most often poisonous to people. We test cannabis samples for these chemicals with the use of HPLC, gas chromatography and headspace analysis.


Making oils from cannabis leaves and flowers is one way of concentrating the desired elements that naturally occur in marijuana. Many different solvents can be used to extract these cannabinoids and terpenes, however, the process of eliminating potentially harmful elements of the solvents is a challenge that can affect your health. Iron Labs performs Headspace Gas Chromotography tests, among others, to identify residual solvents and their potentially hazardous components.


If a medicine works, it contains the right ingredients. Iron Labs performs an array of tests to find the existence and quantities of various cannabinoids in marijuana leaves, flowers, edible products and concentrates. These findings and readings are important for your knowledge, to understand the potential benefit that the product can offer.


Cannabinoids are elements that occur naturally in marijuana plants to produce the health and familiar psychoactive effects. Not only are the cannabinoids effective on their own, but they seem to have other specific, healthy impacts in different combinations and ratios. In other words, they are good alone and they may be even better for you in various combinations. This is what is now known as “The Entourage Effect.” Of the nearly five hundred known elements in cannabis, over sixty-five of them are cannabinoids, and they all seem to work more effectively with each other than independently.


Quality control is a vital component of any laboratory environment. To assure that we meet our exacting standards every day, IRON Laboratories employs key processes and steps that are mandatory. Our machines are recalibrated at least daily, sometimes more often, depending on the number of tests performed. Should the machines perform outside of specific established parameters, they are immediately rechecked and recalibrated. Samples are tested multiple times to deliver accurate results. All testing methods are validated using the “Recommended Methods for the Identification and Analysis of Cannabis and Cannabis Products” issued by the United Nations DOC, 2009.