Frequently Asked Questions

The best process for sampling is heavily debated, but for maintaining compliance we recommend mimicking your state’s current method. Our recommendations are based on the State of Virginia.

As of April 2020, Virginia is taking 3" to 5" samples from the very top of a plant, and sampling roughly 4-5 plants per acre. Those samples are all combined into a single composite sample and analyzed as one.

If you wish to send in pre-dried samples, we recommend 200 degrees in an oven for three hours.


To ship, we recommend placing samples in paper bags to reduce mold and send via USPS. It never hurts to include a copy of your grower’s license, in case they confiscate your package because of smell.

We do accept hand deliveries if you're nearby, and there isn’t a global pandemic underway.

For additional shipping advice, please see USPS, FedEx (see S,T under Prohibited Items heading) and UPS guidance directly.

We have procedures that accommodate everything from very nonpolar oils such as hemp seed oil or olive oil, to medium range MCT oil or even water soluble glycerin extracts. We can also handle oils that are solid at room temperature, such as coconut oil. It does save time if you let us know what you are using on the Chain of Custody.

For packaging, the only requirement is that it survives transport to our lab. For oils, we generally see them packaged in glass bottles and wrapped in bubble wrap or other padding. We have heard that the blue bottles sold on the internet have lead in them that can leech into liquid, so we recommend people avoid using those. We also accept samples in centrifuge tubes sealed with parafilm.

Yes, we can test gummies

We analyze terpenes by Headspace-GC/MS. It is the most accurate way to measure volatiles and semi-volatiles in complex matrices.

Sativa Testing conducts all of our client testing onsite. We do not send our clients’ materials to other labs for testing.

SanAir, our parent company, has the capability to test soil for metals only. If you are looking for full soil testing, we are happy to make a recommendation. Just shoot an email to

Sativa Testing is a DEA-Registered laboratory.

Per DEA guidance, our current procedure as of April 2020 is to place them in the safe, update the controlled substances inventory, then destroy them after 60 days. DEA does not currently require samples that test greater than 0.3% THC to be reported. They simply are destroyed per DEA protocols. If guidance from DEA or USDA changes, we will update our procedures accordingly.

ISO 17025 is one of the most important accreditations for laboratories. A laboratory that holds ISO accreditation can provide accurate, reliable and defensible results enabling you to have confidence in your product content claims. In Sativa Testing Laboratories’ case, our third-party ISO accreditation is provided by AIHA-LAP, LLC.