New Process in Detecting Contaminated Marijuana

Heather Miller Coyle, a forensic botanist and associate professor at the University of New Haven and her students began developing a new process in detecting contaminated marijuana by through DNA analysis.

Dozens of small bumps on marijuana leaves were discovered at the University by using a microscope magnified 10 times. The small bumps were identified as mold, which many could be smoking without any idea.  Coyle says, “all sorts of nasty things not visible to the naked eye have been found in marijuana – mold, mildew, insect parts, salmonella and E. coli.”

Coyle and her students want to create an easier and quicker method for labs across the country in the industry of marijuana quality control testing for finding substances that can be harmful. The new testing process will include screening for mold, viruses, fungi and bacteria.

The developing of mold in marijuana comes from drying process or weak storage conditions after harvesting. It can also become contaminated with E. coli if it is harvests around farm animals.


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