Cannabinoid & Terpenoid Methodology
For those preferring a specific technique for their analytical testing needs, Anresco Laboratories offers potency profiling utilizing 3 different methodologies, the pros and cons of which are explained below:
Gas Chromatography with Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID)
The GC-FID method is one of the most commonly used analytical techniques to quantify the cannabinoid content of cannabis. Using a hydrogen/air flame, the organic molecules from the sample are oxidized to produce electrically charged particles (ions). These ions are then collected on a plate and measured based on their electric current. Using this technique, Anresco has the capability to determine at a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.01%, 6 cannabinoids: ∆9-THC, ∆8-THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, and 27 terpenes: a-Pinene, Camphene, b-Myrcene, b-Pinene, d 3-Carene, a-Terpinene, Ocimene, Limonene, Eucalyptol, Y-Terpinene, p-Cymene, Citronellol, Menthol, a-Terpineol, Terpimolene, Linalool, Isopulegol, Guaiol, Geraniol, b-Caryophyllene, a-Humelene, Cis & Trans-Nerolidol, Caryophyllene, a-Bisabolol, Eudesmol, Caryophyllene Oxide, and Borneol.
While GC-FID is a commonly used technique that is well regarded in the analytical industry, due to the high temperature in which the sample is vaporized, the acidic cannabinoids are incidentally converted into their active counterparts in a process called decarboxylation. Resultantly, only the total content of each cannabinoid can be computed since it is impossible to differentiate between a cannabinoid’s acidic and active components.
Liquid Chromatography with Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LCMSMS)
LCMSMS is a highly sensitive method that combines the use of liquid chromatography and 2 mass analyzers. Using liquid chromatography (LC), the sample (in liquid form) is injected at high pressure through a column composed of irregularly shaped particles. This results in a separation of chemical components due to the fact that each compound travels at a different speed. The output is then directed into a tandem mass spectrometer (MS/MS) that is able to detect molecules by measuring their weight. Because 2 mass analyzers are used rather than 1 (MS/MS vs. MS), LCMSMS is able to obtain highly accurate results. Additionally, because the sample is never heated up during the analytical process, both the active and acidic cannabinoids can be derived. Using this technique, Anresco has the capability to determine at a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.01%, 8 cannabinoids: ∆9-THC, ∆8-THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, CBG, CBN, and CBC.
Liquid Chromatography ultraviolet (LC-UV)
Recommended by The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), the LC-UV method will be the industry standard for all testing performed to state legal standards when regulations become enforced in January 2018. Similar to LCMSMS, this method involves liquid chromatography (LC) to inject the sample at high pressure through a column and separate the chemical components. Rather than using mass spectrometry (MS) however, a UV detector is employed to identify each cannabinoid. Because the sample is never heated during the analytical process, both the active and acidic cannabinoids can be derived. Using this technique, Anresco has the capability to determine at a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.5%, 8 cannabinoids: ∆9-THC, ∆8-THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, CBG, CBN, and CBC.