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  • Botanicals Breakdown - Must Have Products
    Botanicals Breakdown - Must Have Products

    At every step along the way of Cannabis Processing, the most serious tradesperson will be in tune to the tools required that simply either makes the job easier or provides the exact needed result to yield a better return of leaf crop or final consumable product. Not using the right tool is simply a mistake or inefficiency waiting to happen. Why take that chance?

    The following information provides a list of commonly used products and their relation to botanical processing. For additional information and complete specifications, we recommend that you click into each featured product group below.

    Cultivation & Harvesting

    Cultivation begins with determining the correct environmental conditions for the desired plant variety. Light, temperature, air quality, soil, nutrients, and water are some examples of variables to consider. Harvesting requires each unique plant variety to be monitored by growers to produce maximum yield.

    Products To Use In Cultivation

    • Magnifiers - Leaf quality requires regular inspection to determine optimal harvest timing
    • Trays - Harvested leaves may need to be stored for a period of time
    • Scoops - Leaves are moved into vessels for a sample preparation and extraction
    • Sample Preparation

      Sample preparation is the method used to treat products prior to analysis. Typically this step of the process is done in a laboratory setting after harvesting is complete. Preparation includes evaluating quality and purity, and making physical changes to the product so that it is suitable for the next processing steps.

      Products To Use In Sample Preparation

      Extraction

      Extraction uses chemicals or physical conditions (e.g. temperature, pressure) to separate desired compounds from the plant material. CO2 or ethanol extraction are currently the two most common methods.

      Products To Use In Sample Preparation

      Winterization

      Winterization is the process of filtering out unwanted waxy plant particles after extraction. The extract and a solution are combined and placed in a freezer overnight. The waxy particles resulting from the freezing procedure are removed using vacuum filtration. This process works best when low temperatures are maintained.

      Products To Use In Winterization

      • Filtering Flasks & Bottles - Large capacity labware enables economical batch runs
      • Buchner Funnels - Porcelain components can withstand temperature changes between a freezer and a laboratory setting
      • Winterization Kits- Components are pre-selected for compatibility and offered as kits
      • Distillation

        Distillation is the process of separating the compounds of a solution according to their boiling points. Short path distillation uses a very small condenser and low pressure to isolate desired compounds. The compounds are collected in recovery flasks.

        Products To Use In Distillation

        Source: United Scientific Botanicals Catalog 2020

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  • Choosing the Correct Cold Storage for your Vaccines and Specimens
    Choosing the Correct Cold Storage for your Vaccines and Specimens

    Keeping a safe and reliable operation while working to eradicate vaccine-preventable illnesses, likely requires your lab to be fitted with a specifically intended refrigerator/freezer. If you are unsure of the appropriate freezer/refrigeration storage that is right for your needs, we’ve gathered some technical information and conducted some research that we hope can guide you in your decision-making journey.

    First and foremost, we believe it is critical to be knowledgeable of all your tools and instruments. Storage and handling errors happen frequently and can be minimized with the use of properly purchased equipment. Secondly, your equipment should be assembled, maintained, and repaired appropriately and timely. Failure to store samples at an incorrect temperature can result in damaged or contaminated work, causing setbacks such as delays, loss of trust and even unintended financial losses.

    When choosing cold storage for labs, know your minimum and maximum cooling needs and try to match those to the features of the unit, keeping in mind any regulatory requirements and the size of unit that makes the most economical sense for your workspace. An over-sized unit may look attractive but can be a waste of both necessary space and dollars. Alternatively, buying something too small means not having enough room to preserve your work. And small units often use more energy than larger units. Finally, be thoughtful in considering new features. Things like key card security, auto defrost, and positive airflow are pleasant yet costly, and there is no need to overpay for features you likely won’t ever use.

    One early challenge young labs have is whether to purchase a Common Household unit or a more commercial grade Purpose Built unit. Let’s compare and contrast the two.

    Common Household Units

    The household, dormitory, or bar-style units may seem acceptable for your vaccine and specimen needs, but will not pass all guidelines for cold storage. These units may not be equipped with the correct features to keep lab samples and specimens accurately monitored and safe.

    According to the CDC, typical household units have a single exterior door and an evaporator plate/cooling coil, usually located in an ice maker/freezer compartment. These units pose a significant risk of freezing vaccines, even when used for temporary storage.

    It is also important to have correctly sealed doors on all units. A door that is not sealed properly or left open unnecessarily not only affects the temperature in a unit, it also exposes vaccines to light, which can reduce potency.

    Most household units are not equipped with temperature alarms. These alarms are crucial to keeping your samples, specimens, or vaccines regulated and secure.

    Household-grade units could be acceptable to pharmaceutical-grade, purpose-built cold storage. As the name alludes, most of the common units are strictly home use and designed for that purpose.

    Purpose-Built Units

    If your laboratory is required to comply with regulatory standards, such as the CDC's, then it is time to upgrade to a purpose-built or pharmaceutical-grade unit. While these units may be built for commercial and industrial use, they are designed in a variety of shapes and sizes. These units may be compact (over/under-the-counter) style, or they may be large and freestanding, equipped with all the latest technology. Let's take a look at the performance features that may be included in your Purpose-Built Refrigerator/Freezer:

    Microprocessor Controller with Digital Temperature Display to provide your lab with precise temperature control to meet all standards and regulate all samples with live sample-simulated temperature.

    Superior Insulation to regulate all temperatures. Typically, up to 50% more insulation than domestic units.

    Forced Draft Circulation to provide required temperature uniformity and recovery after door openings.

    Temperature Alarms and Door Locks for visual and audible for lab safety.

    Probe Access Ports for digital data loggers or central building monitoring system.

    Automatic Cycle-Defrost design to prevent temperature spikes.

    Shelving Systems to keep different items stored in the unit organized, easy to locate, and proper placement for air circulation.

    Making the Right Choice for your Lab

    It is essential to store vaccines, specimens, and samples under proper conditions and implement the best practices and recommendations. Your research, testing, and cold storage is critical for the well being of others and prevention of many illnesses. It is key to choose a refrigerator/freezer model that meets all external cold storage guidelines, including VFC and CDC, as well as your internal requirements for the intended use of the product. The Lab Depot offers a variety of Cold Storage Units, from brands you know and trust.


    For any questions and recommendations on appropriate freezer or refrigerator storage, talk to our team.

    Call us at 1.800.733.2522 or email us

    For all CDC recommendations, visit cdc.gov

    For more information on vaccine storage, reference the CDC Toolkit.

    References also include: American Biotech Supply

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  • What is in your Hand Sanitizer?
    What is in your Hand Sanitizer?
    In response to the public health emergency, the Food and Drug Administration has pronounced a policy for all facilities compounding certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products. The guidelines provided by the FDA are crafted by a team of experts who have performed thorough research on hand sanitizer compounding. These guidelines are shared with the general public as a strongly suggested protocol for the temporary compounding of sanitizing rubs.
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