Marijuana Test Kits: A 2018 Buyer’s Guide
From Full-Spectrum Cannabinoid to THC and Synthetic Cannabinoid Kits, We Review the Best Cannabis Testing Kits to Buy This Year.
When you hear the phrase “drug test kits,” you probably think of the drugstore kits parents buy to test their children or employers testing their employees to make sure no one has been partaking of certain substances in their free time.
Those aren’t the type of kits we’re going to discuss in this article.
Instead, we’re going to dig into the kind of kits that tell you exactly what’s in the cannabis you’re buying, using, or growing. We’ll review the best marijuana test kits of 2018 and talk about how to buy the best one for your purposes.
What are Marijuana Test Kits?
In the past, if someone wanted to test their cannabis for various chemicals and compounds, they had to have access to a laboratory full of specialized equipment. With the development of marijuana test kits, all of that changed. In 2018, cannabis testing is easily accessible to individuals both at home and while on the go, even if they don’t have a background in science or chemistry.
Today’s marijuana test kits help tell you the whole story about what’s in your cannabis. They come in various sizes, prices, and levels of complexity and can help you answer questions about the chemical makeup of something you’ve purchased and plan to ingest, as well as cannabis you’re growing.
Our cannabis test kit reviews for 2018 will cover all you need to know to buy cannabis potency test kits, THC test kits, as well as synthetic cannabis test kits.
Buying Cannabis Test Kits: Our 2018 Reviews
Now that you have a basic understanding of what these kits do, let’s get to the reviews! Here are our top picks in each of the three categories we discussed above. Whether you’re hoping to find a specific combination of cannabinoids, looking for a mellow, low-THC strain, or concerned about accidentally ingesting synthetics, there’s cannabis testing equipment for every need and budget.
Cannabis Potency Test Kits
The most detailed kinds of marijuana testing equipment, cannabinoid test kits analyze a sample of cannabis for a wide range of cannabinoids. Instead of yes or no kits that simply detect the presence of THC, cannabinoid test kits give you a bigger picture of the potency of your weed by showing you each type of cannabinoid and the level at which it’s present.
Alpha-Cat is one of the premier manufacturers of marijuana test kits, which is why we chose their cannabinoid line for our 2018 Buying Guide. They believe that especially when it comes to medical cannabis, patients need to be able to test for potency in order to medicate safely. They created their mobile test kits so that regular people with no scientific background would have an easy and affordable way to test their cannabis at home.
Here’s our reviews of the different kinds of Alpha-Cat tests, who should buy them, and how they work.
Alpha-Cat Regular Cannabinoids Test Kit
Every Alpha-Cat marijuana test kit contains all of the essential equipment necessary to test a sample of material and decipher the results. This includes calibration charts, test plates, dyes and test fluids, as well as all of the vials, jars, trays, pipettes, syringes and gloves needed to complete your tests. Kits also include an easy-to-use manual to guide you through the process. In addition to the included equipment, you’ll need a digital weighing scale and a well-ventilated area to work.
While Alpha-Cat sells their Regular and Mini test kits for the purpose of determining the presence/potency of THC and CBD only, our readers should note that these two products are capable of testing for the entire spectrum of cannabinoids. Besides THC and CBD, the Regular and Mini Kits also check for levels of CBN, THCV, CBG & CBC.
Users should note that these two kits only contain calibration charts for THC and CBD, but the full charts are available for download online.
The Alpha-Cat Regular Test Kit is the best value for the money, as it contains enough supplies to conduct between 10 and 40 cannabis potency tests. It’s a great middle-of-the-road option for those who need to test cannabis samples somewhat frequently.
Alpha-Cat Mini Cannabinoids Test Kit
For those looking to buy a kit for occasional testing, the Alpha-Cat Mini Kit is an excellent choice. It’s the same as the Regular Kit in that it contains all of the necessary equipment for your tests (minus the digital weighing scale you must supply). The Mini Kit can also test for the full spectrum of cannabinoids, but you’ll need to download the extra charts in order to be able to properly quantify the results.
The Alpha-Cat Mini Kit is sufficient for conducting between 2 and 8 tests.
Alpha-Cat Mobile Cannabinoids Test Lab
Ideal for individuals hoping to start a cannabinoid analysis laboratory, the Alpha-Cat Mobile Lab is the ultimate in cannabis testing equipment. Far more than just a marijuana test kit, the Mobile Lab contains everything you need to deliver official Alpha-Cat cannabinoid analysis certificates, whether you’re testing your own crops or checking the authenticity of third-party products.
The Mobile Lab features an extensive array of equipment necessary to produce certified cannabis analysis results, from a precise laboratory scale and a digital microscope to a digital scanner and a heating device and alignment tool. It also contains all of the trays, tubes, pipettes, and testing equipment contained in the smaller kits. Because Alpha-Cat values safety, they also include a laboratory coat, a face mask, and safety glasses.
A protocol guide is included with the contents of the Mobile Lab, but with its purchase, Alpha-Cat includes something much more valuable: a 2-day onsite personal training program that covers the Alpha-Cat laboratory handbook.
With your training complete, the Alpha-Cat Mobile Lab will allow you to perform between 100 and 400 tests.
How Do Alpha-Cat Cannabis Test Kits Work?
Alpha-Cat uses thin-layer chromatography (TLC) to allow users to see a visual representation of the cannabinoids present in a sample. When the test is complete, each cannabinoid will be clearly separated and rendered in brightly-colored spots. The number of spots will be dependent on the genetics of the plant used.
This enables users to not only see what cannabinoids are present in a sample, but gives them the ability to see how the concentration of each. The higher the concentration of any given cannabinoid, the more intensely-colored the spot will be.
Testing procedures are effective on more than just cannabis flower. The Alpha-Cat method will work for a wide range of cannabis and cannabis-infused products, from concentrates, resins, and tinctures to edibles.
Analysis with Alpha-Cat marijuana test kits allows consumers and growers to understand more than just the cannabinoid profile of a specific sample or strain. Its chemotype-effect chart helps anticipate the types of side effects to be expected, while the symptom-curing guide is useful in determining which strains are most effective at treating various symptoms.
Alpha-Kit products are the best choice for those who wish to go into 2018 knowing all there is to know about the makeup, potency, and potential effects of any cannabis strain they grow or ingest.
THC Identification Test Kits
THC test kits (THC testers) are a different breed of marijuana testing equipment. While still useful, they don’t offer results on a variety of cannabinoids and their concentrations. Instead, they simply offer a straightforward yes or no result on the presence of THC.
For THC identification test kits, we highly recommend TestKitPlus and EZTestKits in our 2018 buying guide. Both of these companies have built reputations on quality, reliability, and an overall mission of promoting education and safe drug use by those who choose to partake.
TestKitPlus has a mission of improving safety by reducing harm through empowering people to educate themselves about what they put in their bodies. Their company is based in Canada and they ship their products in discreet packaging across the globe.
Based in Great Britain, EZTestKits has been selling drug testing kits for over 8 years. They were the first drug tests made available to at-home users. EZTestKits was founded to help people understand the issues that exist with drug purity and contamination, as well as the risks these pose. That’s why in addition to THC test kits, EZTestKits also offers a range of synthetic cannabinoid test kits (which we’ll also feature in this buying guide).
They also ship worldwide and package their products in bubble wrap envelopes that feature no branding or logos.
TestKitPlus Cannabis (THC) Test Kit
With clients that run the gamut from private individuals to government agencies, it’s no surprise that TestKitPlus offers a remarkably professional take on the THC test kit. That’s why they landed among our reviews. Each box contains enough spatulas and cannabis identification tests to analyze 10 samples of product.
Simply knock the unopened ampoule against a hard surface to break up the granules inside, then open the lid and use the spatula to drop a small amount of sample inside. TestKitPlus indicates that one drop of any liquid sample should be dispensed into the ampoule using a pipette. Results appear within seconds. To determine the presence of THC, use the color line printed on the ampoule or the back of the test kit package.
Users should avoid getting the granules inside TestKitPlus ampoules on their clothes and skin or in their eyes. If this happens, rinse the affected area with water.
TestKitPlus marijuana test kits are easy to use, fast, reliable, and incredibly affordable for the great reassurance and safety they provide.
EZTestKits Cannabis (THC) Test Kit
Known for providing a range of kits for fast and easy confirmation of other drugs and chemicals, EZTestKits only recently added its Cannabis (THC) Testing Kit to its lineup. Using these handy little THC identification test kits is simple. Break open the top of the ampoule and drop in a small amount of your sample. Cap the ampoule with the plastic lid and shake it well. Watch for the color change indicated on the included chart to confirm the presence of THC in the sample.
Each Single Use THC Testing Kit contains one testing ampoule.
If you like to keep a marijuana test kit on hand, it’s worth buying the EZTest package that contains 10 THC-testing ampoules. The 10 Use Kit is much cheaper, per ampoule, than buying them individually and will ensure that you can always get quick results when you need them.
Synthetic Cannabinoids Identification Test Kits
As mentioned above, synthetic cannabinoids are truly nasty – especially if you’re ingesting them unintentionally. One need only take a quick look at the headlines to see the side effects of synthetics. At best, they create a high that’s much more intense than marijuana. At worst, however, they begin to totally alter the user’s perception and create unwanted side effects. Hospitals and poison control centers have been inundated with calls from people experiencing unpleasant and even life-threatening reactions from taking synthetic cannabinoids.
Among those reactions? Some experience extreme paranoia and anxiety, even hallucinating or having psychotic episodes. A rapid heart rate is common, as well as feeling agitated. Synthetics can cause uncontrollable body movements, as well as total loss of control over one’s behavior. In some cases, users have overdosed or committed suicide while under the influence of these substances.
Instead of a laid-back evening enjoying a relaxing high, accidentally taking K2, Spice, or another synthetic cannabinoid could result in hours spent at the hospital…or even worse.
Because addiction, bad trips, and death due to synthetic cannabinoid ingestion is such a real threat, drug testing companies have created portable test kits that make it easy to know if the flower you’re handling is all natural or a chemical-laced concoction. Our favorite tests for 2018 are made by EZTestKits.
EZTestKits Synthetic Cannabinoids Drug Testing Kit
This kit tests for the presence of a wide range of synthetic cannabinoids, from Spice and K2 and herbal incenses like JWH-250, JWH-200, CP-55/940, JWH-018/073/081, CP-47/497, and AM-694. Simply break open the ampoule and put a sample inside. Cap it, shake it, and wait for the color to change.
Unlike the yes/no THC tests, EZTestKits Synthetic Cannabinoids Tests will change colors to indicate what type of synthetic agent may be present in your sample. Simply refer to the color chart on the included instructions to determine what type of synthetic the test has picked up.
The 10 pack has a better value than the single test pack, which is a great choice for those who frequently face situations in which they’re unsure of what may be in a substance they’re about to ingest. While the 10 Use Kit costs a bit more up front, it costs less per ampoule than buying them one at a time – and it ensures that you’ll always have a cannabis test kit handy when you need one most.
Why Test for Cannabinoid Potency?
In recent years, we’ve started to understand more about the connection between the cannabinoids in different strains of marijuana and the side effects experienced by users. High levels of CBD helps calm anxiety, for example, while large amounts of THC does the opposite and can create agitation. Researchers have also discovered that a 1 to 1 ratio of CBD to THC causes the CBD to cancel out the psychoactive effects of the THC. This is ideal for those who need THC for medicinal purposes but don’t want the high. Other cannabinoids have similarly interesting interactions.
This may be somewhat useful to recreational users who are searching for the ideal strain that will give them the perfect high, but it’s necessary information for those who use medical cannabis. The right cannabinoids in the right proportions can provide pain relief, treat nausea, or even help with insomnia.
Testing for cannabinoid levels is essential for medical users who must get their medicine from non-dispensary sources, but it’s also helpful for patients to verify that dispensaries are selling product that lives up to what they’re advertising.
Cannabinoid potency test kits aren’t just great for users; they’re also wonderful for growers working to perfect a strain for a specific purpose. Rather than guessing what the effects of that strain will be, this type of marijuana test kit gives growers the ability to understand the exact chemical makeup of the plant they’ve produced.
Keeping It Simple with THC Test Kits
If your only concern is whether a substance contains THC, THC test kits are smaller, more straightforward, and more affordable than their full-spectrum cannabinoid testing counterparts. By adding a small sample and waiting a few minutes, you can quickly if a substance is packing a psychoactive punch or has a zero THC level. THC testers can help you determine if you’ve been sold a substance that’s masquerading as a cannabis concoction but is actually a fake.
Weeding out Synthetics from the Rest
Sometimes, drug test kits are helpful in ruling out the presence of certain chemicals in a specific substance. This comes in handy if you make your purchases from random providers rather than licensed dispensaries. As an increasing amount of drugs are being cut, combined, or substituted with dangerous chemicals, individuals must take personal responsibility for avoiding unwanted additives or synthetics in the drugs they’re ingesting.
That’s why we chose the third type of marijuana test kit we’ll review for 2018: synthetic cannabinoids test kits. While cannabis can result in unpleasant side effects at extremely high doses, it’s not known to be dangerous or deadly.
Synthetic marijuana is a different story. Because synthetics are made of varying combinations of chemicals, it’s tough to know what’s in synthetic marijuana. Side effects can range from anxiety and agitation to a very rapid heartbeat, vomiting, lethargy, confusion, and even death.
Can’t you simply look at your bud and tell if it’s fake? Because synthetic cannabis comes in a variety of forms, it’s not always that easy. Sometimes, it can be mixed in with real weed or added to other herbs or tobacco, making it difficult to detect. A synthetic cannabis test kit can prevent you from having a nasty experience – or even save your life.
Buying Marijuana Test Kits Puts Knowledge in the Palm of Your Hand
The manufacturers of all of these marijuana test kits indicate that they don’t promote the use of illegal substances by any individuals. However, they would like to make it easier for legal recreational cannabis users to achieve the kind of high they enjoy, as well as enabling medical users to pick strains that best suit the kind of symptom relief they need most. They also recognize that many individuals are going to use cannabis and other drugs whether they are legal or not.
With cannabis use on the rise and a growing number of legal dispensaries opening across the globe in 2018, it’s more important than ever for people to be able to know what they’re ingesting. This includes understanding the potential effects of different cannabis products and strains, but it also means being able to avoid edibles laced with THC, as well as prevent accidental ingestion of dangerous synthetics.
Cannabis testing equipment gives people this power – leading to a safe world for recreational users, medical users, and non-users alike.
Buy Online – Marijuana/THC Test Kits:
Alpha-Cat Cannabis Potency Test Kits:
- Alpha Cat Mini Cannabinoids Test Kit – Levels of CBD, CBN, THC, THCV, CBG & CBC, 2 to 8 Tests.
- Alpha Cat Regular Cannabinoids Test Kit – Levels of CBD, CBN, THC, THCV, CBG & CBC, 10 to 40 Tests.
Marijuana/THC Identification Test Kits:
- TestKitPlus Cannabis/THC Test Kit – Tests for presence of Marijuana/THC. 10 Tests per Pack.
- EZ-Test Cannabis/THC Single Use Test Kit – Tests for presence of Marijuana/THC.
- EZ-Test Cannabis/THC Test Kit 10 Pack – Tests for presence of Marijuana/THC.
Synthetic Cannabinoids Identification Test Kits:
- EZ-Test Synthetic Cannabinoids Single Use Test Kit – Tests for presence of Synthetic Cannabinoids. Spice, K2, and Herbal Incenses.
- EZ-Test Synthetic Cannabinoids Test Kit 10 Pack – Tests for presence of Synthetic Cannabinoids. Spice, K2, and Herbal Incenses.
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