Cold Plasma: a New Process for Sterilizing Dry Cannabis

Health Canada has stringent guidelines on the microbial content of dry cannabis, including infectious fungus. Fungal spores are extraordinarily resistant to heat, which is the traditional method of sterilizing dry cannabis. Spores of species in the genus Aspergillus can survive the heat of smoking, enter the lungs, and cause invasive lung disease. Cold Plasma Group (CPG) has developed a new, patent-pending process for the sterilization of dry cannabis based on the use of cold plasma treatments.

The new patent-pending process, CannPlasma Clean implemented on user-friendly cannabis sterilizers is the first commercially available product developed by CPG. CPG Founder and Chief Technical Officer Dr. Florina Truica is the scientist, engineer, and plasma expert leading this project. “CannPlasma Clean provides a non-thermal, organic and environmentally friendly alternative to treatments based on the use of UV and gamma radiation, chemicals, ozone or microwaves,” said Dr. Truica, adding that “the use of radiation is known to alter the quality of the cannabis product (moisture content, texture, colour, odour, and/or terpene profiles).”

CPG performed a pilot project at the Centre which demonstrated that cannabis and hops treated with CPG technology retain their physical properties, and cannabinoid and terpene profiles. A follow-up study involved treating contaminated cannabis using the CannPlasma Clean process under various plasma conditions to optimize the sterilization processes for handling all contaminated cannabis products.

In establishing the optimal conditions for CannPlasma Clean with the Centre, CPG has now taken their process to market in the form of user-friendly cannabis sterilizers and launched a new, effective, and environmentally friendly way for the cannabis industry to maintain microbial quality control.