By Jim Flieler, VP of Sales for Charlotte Products

With the widespread legalization of cannabis across Canada and the United States there is a growing demand for marijuana and other cannabis-derived products. This industry has grown so quickly in some areas that businesses have been challenged to keep up with demand. As dispensaries and manufacturing companies grow with the demand for their products, it is imperative that they follow healthy and safe processes for the processing, storage and cleaning of their equipment and products. In this blog, we will take a closer look at some of the dangers that have plagued the weed industry and offer some safer alternatives to keep cannabis businesses thriving, healthy and safe. An efficient and effective cleaning process will help cannabis businesses provide their customers with high-quality products they can trust. 

Avoid isopropyl alcohol when cleaning cannabis equipment.

It has been common practice for dispensaries and consumers to clean products used to prepare and smoke weed with rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. The resin residue that is left over after preparing or using cannabis can become very sticky and difficult to remove. Alcohol has been considered an inexpensive option that is relatively effective at removing the challenging substance from most surfaces. However, alcohol is highly flammable, with a flash point of 12°C (54°F). This is why it can be very dangerous to use alcohol on any products related to the use, storage or processing of cannabis products. Unfortunately, many who use isopropyl alcohol for cleaning do not follow the necessary safety precautions that include proper PPE and controls like fume hoods. This increases the risk of accidents.

Don’t ignore resin residue buildup.

Resin is a sticky brown substance that comes from the bud of the cannabis plant and builds up on processing equipment and weed paraphernalia alike. This substance has challenged home consumers of weed as well as those in the business of processing cannabis for as long as the plant has been consumed. The buildup of this substance can render tools and equipment ineffective, wearing them out quickly. Unfortunately, there have not always been many safe and effective products on the market that work against resin. When consumers and manufacturers do not have adequate options, they sometimes ignore resin buildup. This can be dangerous because it can make manufacturing equipment, including the heavy blades used on the cannabis plant, less effective, prone to malfunction and a safety hazard. 

Additionally, when resin is allowed to build up on processing equipment or tools like bongs, there is the additional concern of mold buildup. Mold can be very toxic if ingested, and it will also be toxic for workers to breathe in if it is in a work environment. It is absolutely essential to have a protocol that removes resin buildup daily to ensure that you do not create a hospitable environment for mold.

Don’t mix toxic chemicals with cannabis products.

Many customers in the cannabis industry have distinct medical needs like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis or epilepsy. These populations are even more sensitive to toxic ingredients in harsh chemicals like isopropyl alcohol or some of the traditional degreasers that have been used in the past in cannabis production to remove resin. Isopropyl alcohol has been listed by government agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as being toxic and degreasers are considered some of the most toxic cleaning products available.  It is very important  to be considerate of the chemicals that you use in cleaning your equipment when choosing your cleaning products. 

The consideration of sensitive populations is just part of the reason we formulated our safer alternative, the ServCleanⓇ Resin Remover, which uses less harsh ingredients than traditional degreasers. Following proper cleaning protocol and safety instructions can also help to keep your equipment clean and avoid toxic ingredients mixing with your cannabis products.Just like as with any type of industry, the cannabis industry will need to adhere to strict public safety and health guidelines as established by local and federal government agencies. While this new and rapidly growing industry plays catch up, it is important for cannabist industry leaders to turn to those experienced in the cleaning market for insights and guidance on how to ensure they maintain healthy, safe and effective cleaning protocol. The experts here at Charlotte have been working diligently along with distributors who carry our Resin Remover line to provide the training, education and tools necessary for cannabis industry companies to implement the proper cleaning protocols in their operations. If you’d like to know more about public health and the cannabis industry, contact Charlotte Experts for a customized plan.