What Does Cannabis Potency Testing Involve?
<![CDATA[Editor’s note: Cannabis Business Times’ November cover story examined the prevalence and problems of lab shopping and potency inflation in the cannabis industry. As part of that coverage, CBT asked Florida-based ACS Laboratory, which tests the state’s medical cannabis and has hemp clients in 48 states, more about what cannabis potency testing involves. Here, Roger Brown, founder and president of ACS Laboratory, delves into the process of how the company tests cannabis for THC potency. If you work for a cannabis or hemp testing lab, refer to your state’s testing regulations to ensure compliance.Figure 1. Step 1: Flower is ground and placed in a sterile cup for weighing and prep. Step 2: Sample is weighed and placed in a glass vial.Photo courtesy of ACS LaboratoryFigure 1Figure 2. Step 3: Solution is added, and the vial is sealed. Then the sample vial goes to a grinder for flower or a vortexer for derivatives. A grinder is specifically designed for vigorous up and down shaking to facilitate even distribution of the material.Vortexers or vortex mixers are a critical piece of laboratory equipment used to mix small vials of samples rapidly in a quickly oscillating circular motion. There are specific types of suspension that can only be done by creating a vortex, rather than just shaking a sample. For instance, a vortex mixer is able to mix viscous samples that would otherwise stay unblended. If you need to mix oil and water, a vortex mixer is the equipment you want to get the job done right.Photo courtesy of ACS LaboratoryFigure 2Step 4: For both flower and derivatives, the sample goes to a sonicator. Sonicators use ultrasonic frequency to help mix or dissolve samples during preparation.Step 5: After sonicating samples, samples are placed back in the vortexer to make sure analytes, or the cannabinoids being tested, are…
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