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A Guide to Choosing the Best Gloves for Trimming and Harvesting Cannabis

Best Gloves for Trimming and Harvesting Cannabis

Nitrile Gloves

Find out what factors you should consider when choosing gloves for trimming and harvesting cannabis, and why high-quality gloves are essential for protecting the product's purity.

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Similar to working in the food business, dealing with cannabis requires gloves that provide enough protection. It is essential to maintain the product's purity and prevent any potential cross-contamination that could harm consumers.

Cheaper glove materials can bring undesired bacterial contamination to cannabis, so you should be cautious about selecting high-quality gloves for cannabis handling. In addition, cheap gloves may have significant chemical toxicity.

In this guide, we will explore your options for the best gloves for trimming weeds and why you should consider some factors during this process. 

Why Use Gloves

For personnel working in licensed cannabis operations, disposable or single-use gloves are required while handling the plant. Durability is not a passing issue, particularly for those employed in the agricultural and processing industries. Rips and tears may be highly aggravating for glove-wearers when dealing with complicated items that are both sticky and prickly.

Gloves are available in various qualities and chemical compositions, much like the materials they are used to handle. Industrial-grade, food-handling, and medical-grade are the most popular types, and each conforms to its own Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) score, a baseline for quantifying pinhole faults. The higher the quality of the glove, the lower the AQL rating.

Read Next: Which Thickness is Best for Disposable Gloves?

Why Choose High-Quality Medical-Grade Gloves

Bacterial count on unused gloves

The production procedures and raw material components of disposable gloves might introduce bacterial contamination and chemical migration into cannabis products. The low-cost production of disposable gloves affects wash-tank clean-out operations and water quality, accumulating microorganisms and chemicals on the gloves. Studies of the bacterial contamination of unused protective gloves have revealed up to 10,000 bacteria per glove as environmental pollutants!

Chemicals in gloves can migrate to products

Cheap gloves may have high toxicity to chemicals. Glove producers are forced to compromise quality and employ alternative materials to fulfill the end user's need for cheaper prices. This may include higher quantities of cyanide, cheap phthalate plasticizers, and other chemicals. Glove fraud exists.

Food safety of food-compliant gloves 

There are no specific regulations or inspection programs governing food service gloves. The sole condition is that the glove's components adhere to FDA rules and are composed of "Substances widely recognized as safe for use in food or food packaging." 

Because 18,000 Staphylococci may flow through a single glove hole in twenty minutes, your food service-compliant gloves may not be safeguarding your product!

What to Look For Gloves for Harvesting Medical-Grade Cannabis

For trimming, growing, processing, handling, and checking cannabis products, disposable nitrile gloves are beneficial for growers. The exceptional comfort, protection, and chemical resistance of disposable nitrile gloves make them our top recommendation.

Unlike disposable nitrile gloves, coated work gloves may be reused for months or years with adequate care.

Processing

During processing, cannabis plants and stems might grab gloves, necessitating a minor increase in durability. The 6 mil nitrile glove provides strength and a subtle texture for excellent grip. If greater arm protection is required when employees reach through and between plants, we propose the use the 8 mil nitrile gloves with an extended cuff.

Drying

Hanging cannabis plants may seem like a simple task, but dried plants can be frustrating when they snag and tear gloves. In addition to being durable enough to withstand the drying plants, a 6 mil nitrile glove has a slight texture that improves grip.

Trimming

Whether dry or wet trimming, gloves must be extremely tough as resin might adhere to them. At this stage, however, the details become significant, and the flower gains shelf appeal. Your trimmers must be able to feel what they are doing precisely. A 4mil nitrile glove is a thinner glove that provides tactility without compromising strength.

Factors to Consider About Gloves for Harvesting Cannabis

Glove Strength

The main indicator of how readily gloves rip and tear is the basic materials from which they are made. Many people mistakenly assume that a thicker glove is more durable and resistant to tearing. This is false since cheap gloves may be manufactured using fillers such as chalk to reduce production costs. Chalk does not stretch, which is a serious issue because elasticity is a crucial component of the strength and quality of a glove.

The relationship between the quality of ingredients and production standards and the quality of gloves produced is direct. Additionally, gloves made from low-quality materials and chemicals are more likely to cause skin irritation.

Acceptable Quality Level

Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) is an international sample standard for assessing the quality of a final glove product. AQL assesses quality by finding the maximum number of acceptable flaws in a random sample of a batch of gloves.

AQL assesses the quality of gloves by indicating the number of pinhole faults present out of the box. The lower the number, the greater the quality of the gloves. For example, medical-grade gloves must have an AQL score of 2.5 or below to pass inspection, which translates to a maximum of 2.5 gloves with pinhole faults per 100. We advise the use of gloves with an AQL or less.

Choose disposable exam-grade gloves with an AQL of 2.5 or less when selecting gloves to be used in cannabis cultivation. 

Glove Grade

Sterile gloves are the most hygienic gloves and are utilized in hospital settings, such as during surgery.

Gloves designed for medical use are submitted to a battery of FDA-mandated testing to verify they fulfill a set of safety standards. According to FDA regulations, medical gloves must fulfill specific performance characteristics, including resistance to leaks and tears and biocompatibility. Additionally, medical gloves must be powder-free.

Gloves for handling food must meet Food and Drug Administration requirements (FDA Title 21 CFR Part 177). The raw ingredients must be "generally regarded as safe for use in food and food packaging." Food-grade gloves are subjected to little testing, allowing a vast array of high-quality gloves to access the US market.

We recommend purchasing medical-grade or food-grade gloves from a manufacturer with documented quality processes when obtaining gloves for cannabis harvesting.

Snug Fit

Comfort and dexterity are optimally balanced in a glove that fits snugly with no slack spots yet has considerable elasticity. Latex is the optimal material when it is essential to maneuver the fingers easily. A latex medical glove is also likely to give some sizing flexibility since it will expand to fit even when a smaller glove is required.

A thin nitrile glove will also give more flexibility, comfort, and a snug fit but will be less tolerant of incorrect size.

Vinyl medical gloves are far less elastic and must be the correct size to avoid becoming either too large and wrinkled or too small and split.

Related: How To Measure Gloves Size?

Tensile Strength

A glove's tensile strength is the force or pull required to break it. In mPa, tensile strength is measured (megaPascal). The lower the mPa value, the greater the likelihood that gloves may shred quickly.

Gloves for medical use must have a tensile strength of at least 11 mPa.

Chemical Protection

The chemical grade of gloves varies depending on the "recipes" employed to create them. If you are dealing with chemicals, you must ensure that the gloves you are wearing provide enough protection. Contact the provider if you are uncertain; they should be able to give you this information.

There are many factors involved in sourcing gloves. Protect what counts by getting premium gloves for cannabis harvesting to safeguard your product, employees, and brand. Contamination can occur at any stage of the planting and cultivation process. 

Related: Nitrile Gloves Chemical Resistance Guide

Incidental Contact

It is incidental contact when gloves are accidentally exposed to modest overspray, spills, or splashes. If you anticipate accidentally touching chemicals or dangerous substances, use a disposable glove with some chemical resistance and dispose of it promptly after use.

Extended Contact

If you or your employees will be dealing with extremely polluted or dangerous materials, high temperatures, or continually immersing their hands in a chemical solution. Reusable gloves are the safest alternative. Reusable gloves are thicker and offer more protection in instances involving prolonged contact.

Always verify with the glove maker to see which chemicals are compatible with the gloves.

Potential Workplace Hazards for Cannabis Employees

Employers in the cannabis sector, including those who produce, manufacture, distribute, sell, and test marijuana products, must safeguard their workers from all occupational health and safety concerns.

As much as 70% humidity is required for marijuana cultivation, according to research. In the presence of organic matter, this increased humidity encourages mold formation.

Prior studies of unauthorized cannabis growers' operations have found higher quantities of airborne mold spores, particularly during plant removal by law enforcement agents.

In the 2017 research by Marijuana Occupational Health and Safety Work Group, law enforcement officers were exposed to mold levels comparable to those of a modest to medium-sized mold cleanup effort. There have been no comparable investigations of legal growing operations to establish the danger of mold exposure in the highly regulated conditions of production facilities.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have shown that exposure to indoor dampness-related substances such as mold is strongly associated with health problems such as wheezing, coughing, exacerbated asthma symptoms, shortness of breath, and respiratory infection.

A certified industrial hygienist may assist cannabis growers in identifying safety and health concerns in the workplace that must be addressed to ensure compliance with OSHA and EPA rules and standards. The expert might conduct a safety audit to objectively assess the measures to protect workers. A safety audit offers recorded results that an organization's management team can utilize as a road map to enhance safety.

Shop for the Best Gloves for Trimming Weed at Gloves.com

Here at Gloves.com, we understand the importance of a good pair of gloves. That’s why we offer a wide selection of disposable and single-use gloves perfect for those working in the cannabis industry. Our wide range of gloves is durable and will keep your hands safe while you work. Shop now and find the perfect pair of gloves for trimming weed!

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