State registration as a grower or handler for industrial hemp is required for testing. For industrial hemp seed located in the state of Oregon, refer to Oregon Department of Agriculture for specifics on registration- For seed located in another state, refer to that state's Department of Agriculture for registration requirements. We cannot accept industrial hemp seed from an entity that is not registered.

The test requirements will depend on customer needs and include parameters such as where the seed is being shipped, namely import/export requirements. It is the responsibility of the entity requesting testing to determine the testing needs for their situation.

Tests Offered
  • Purity
  • Germination
  • Tetrazolium (TZ)
  • Gender (to determine male and female seed/seedling by PCR)
  • Vigor (Accelerated Aging, Cold, and/or Electrical Conductivity)
  • Seed Moisture Content
  • Ploidy
  • Determination of seed oil and protein contents by NMR


Please complete and submit a Hemp Seed Test Order Form (PDF) for each sample sent to the OSU Seed Lab for testing. Full directions for submitting your seeds can be found on Page 2.


Purity Testing

AOSA Testing Rules

The AOSA seed testing protocols are the standard procedures for domestic seed testing in the United States. They are the default procedures for the OSU Seed Lab unless otherwise requested by the customer. For more information about AOSA, refer to their website-

The purity exam will determine the percentages of pure seed, other crop seed, weed seed and inert matter found in a subsample approximating 2500 seeds. The contaminant seeds will be categorized by type, and the inert components will be listed with the heaviest component listed first.

The All States Noxious Weed seed exam is included in an AOSA purity test.  It is a subsample approximating 25,000 seeds and is called the bulk portion. It provides information about any noxious weed seeds listed in the USDA's All State Noxious Weed Seed List in the bulk portion of the sample.

Minimum submitted sample sizes:

Purity exam requires 50 grams*

All States Noxious Weed seed or bulk exam requires 500 grams*

ISTA Testing Rules

The ISTA seed testing protocols are required by various countries as part of their international import/export procedures. There are two types of ISTA certificates issued by OSU Seed Lab, an Orange Certificate or a Blue Certificate. To determine which type of certificate is needed, please refer to our ISTA Certificates page or the ISTA website-

The location of the seed will impact sampling for the seed lot. ISTA Orange Certificates require an Authorized ISTA sampler to pull any seed samples. We may be able to send a sampler from another area, but it will depend on where the seed is located, sampler availability, and the cost to the customer. If you have an authorized ISTA sampler already lined up, then we will just need their contact and authorization information. Blue ISTA Certificates do not require an Authorized ISTA sampler and the customer can sample their own seed.

The ISTA Purity exam will determine percentages of Pure seed, Other seed, and Inert matter. Other seeds are listed alphabetically by their scientific names and the inert matter is listed by heaviest component first.

The ISTA Other Seed Determination (OSD) will list the number of seeds found for contaminants in alphabetical order by their scientific names. The Australian OSD (AU) exam includes Other Seed Determination, soil, ergot, and rodent droppings percentages. The New Zealand OSD (NZ) exam includes Other Seed Determination, soil percentage, and number of nematodes found.

                 Note- Limited OSD is an exam for requested species

                           Reduced OSD is on a weight that is less than the minimum prescribed weight

Minimum submitted sample sizes:

Purity requires 60 grams*

Other Seed Determination (OSD) requires 600 grams*


*We can ship any excess seed back to the original customer after testing via USPS (shipping and handling fees will apply). We are required to keep the Purity portion of the sample on file, so the returned portion will be the original sample, minus about 50-60 grams.  We will not return any excess seeds from samples sent to the Lab for Germination or TZ testing only.


Viability Testing

Viability testing can be performed by germination and/or tetrazolium test (TZ). The germination test is based on seedling physiological traits and determines the percentage of live seeds that produce normal seedlings under favorable germination conditions. The TZ test is a quick biochemical viability test which determines the number of live seeds based on dehydrogenase activity in seeds. It indicates the percentage of viable (live) and non-viable seeds in any sample regardless of its dormancy level.

The germination test typically includes a 7 day prechill and then a 7-14 day period in the warm germinator. It can take up to three weeks to obtain final germination results.

The TZ test typically takes 24-48 hours. 

For samples that are submitted for viability testing only, please submit a minimum of 1000 seeds; no excess seeds will be returned.

If germination tests are being requested in conjunction with purity testing, then the seeds will be taken from the minimum submitted sample size stated in the Purity Testing section and extra seed does not need to be sent.


Other Testing

Hemp seeds are germinated and the plant material from the seedlings is used for analysis using LAMP and traditional PCR methods. The final results will include the number of female and the number of male seedlings. This method does not detect males resulting from hermaphroditism. 
The number of seeds to be tested is determined by the customer. Please specify exactly how many seeds to gender test when submitting a sample to our lab.
Contact us at [email protected] for more information on the hemp tests we offer.



Please refer to our Testing Fees page for current pricing.

Pricing for gender testing is based on the number of seeds tested. The price is $15 per seed, or $10 per seed if requesting over 100 seeds to be tested. Contact us at [email protected] for assistance with calculating the total expected price.



Industrial Hemp Certification

For information about certifying industrial hemp, please visit Seed Certification's website:

Global Hemp Innovation Center

The Global Hemp Innovation Center at Oregon State University is the nation's largest hemp research center, Please visit their site for more information on research for this emerging agricultural market.