Analysis


The quality of any cannabinoid analysis is dependent, primarily, on the following five factors:

  1. Sampling
  2. Homogenization
  3. Extraction
  4. Calibration of the analyzer system using certified reference compounds
  5. Measuring temperature

Sampling

To obtain reliable, conclusive and resilient results for the average content of active substances in plant materials, it is not sufficient to simply analyze approx. 0.3 grams of parts of a plant (e.g. a flower). For the comprehensive and effective analysis of a production batch, we recommend taking a representative sample from your production batch. We are able to process up to 7 grams per individual sample. Larger quantities will be divided and analyzed as several samples.


Homogenization Flash freezing

Before starting an analysis, it is essential to render a plant sample as homogeneous (uniform) as possible, to be able to obtain the most representative part of the sample. We have developed a homogenization process for plant parts at a temperature of -70°C. This way, all components will be included during the homogenization process, since they are unable to settle on the sides of the grinding vessel during the grinding process.


Extraction

To make sure that all active substances contained in a sample are extracted for analysis to almost 100%, even at low temperatures (< 60°C), we have been optimizing our extraction methods for the various sample material until they have become comparable with the absolute „Gold Standard“ of all extraction methods for plant material (Shoxlett).


Calibration of the Analyzer System

Any analyzer system is only as good as its calibration. As one of the basic principles of analytic chemistry states: „A chemist is only able to analyze what he actually has.” This is why the lab management is in possession of a Certificate of Exemption according to §6 Suchtgiftverordnung (Austrian Narcotic Drugs Act) for the circulation and use of narcotic drugs, enabling us to purchase all cannabinoids in high purity form as reference standards. This is why we purchase certified reference material to calibrate our analyzer system from RESTEK Chromatography, Sigma-Aldrich and ECHO Pharmaceutical. On request, we are happy to provide you with the current CoA (Certificates of Analysis) for the reference materials used. Dilution series of these reference substances are, of course, performed using analytical pipettes with a current calibration certificate.


Measuring temperature

Analysis of cannabinoids requires the coolest possible method of analysis. It is common knowledge that the carboxylic acids (THCA, CBDA und CBGA) change to their respective neutral forms (THC, CBD, CBG) already at temperatures of approx. 100°C. This is why we measure samples by HPLC at a maximum temperature of 50°C. When testing for cannabinoids, we will NEVER expose your samples to the temperatures usual for gas chromatography (~ 270°C – 320°C) that allow a differentiated statement regarding the analyte concentration of both neutral substances and carboxylic acids.

According to the latest scientific data, therefore, reliable, conclusive and resilient analyses of cannabinoids are always based on these five pillars:

  • Measurement by HPLC at 50° C max
  • Drying of the plant material at 60° C max
  • Comprehensive homogenization of the sample, without loss of resin
  • Use of certified reference materials (CRM) for calibration
  • Internal and external quality assurances of the testing laboratory

We are strictly working according to these rules to ensure the reliability of our Certificates of Analysis.

In developing our methods for sample preparation and analysis, we have evaluated many scientific publications. In particular, the articles below have been incorporated into our methods:

Iffland 2016

Decarboxylation-of-THCA-to-active-THC European Industrial

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Mudge 2017

Leaner and greener analysis of cannabinoids

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US Department of Health 2001

Bioanalytical Method V

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Welch 2014

Cold Extraction Method For Cannabinoids THC And CBD

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Bernhard 2006

Forensisch chemische Analysen von THC haltigem Hanfkraut

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The Leaf Online 2014

Cannabinoid Profile The Endocannabinoid System

Link