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Chromatographic method measures cannabinoid and terpene levels simultaneously January 19, 2021
Chromatographic method measures cannabinoid and terpene levels simultaneously

Researchers in Slovenia may have found a solution to one of the biggest issues regarding cannabis testing and labeling.

Consumers looking for high-THC content or a particular terpene profile in a cannabis product regularly express their desire for more explicit identification of ingredients, but manufacturers often resist testing because the volatility and low concentration of terpenes -- relative to cannabinoids -- require the compounds to be measured separately.

To overcome this time-consuming and expensive process, scientists have discovered a relatively simple way to accurately measure cannabinoid and terpene content simultaneously.

The researchers focused on the conditions of sample preparation and extraction that allowed simultaneous measurements using GC. Dried and powdered hemp material was extracted in solvents by sonication, followed by centrifugation.

After testing different solvents, they found acetone gave good results and discovered a sample-to-volume ratio of 1:17 was ideal to maximize extraction efficiency while maintaining sufficient concentrations of terpenes in the samples.

The concentrations of major cannabinoids were kept at less than 1.5 mg/mL -- high enough to quantify minor cannabinoids but low enough to ensure complete decarboxylation during the chromatographic process.

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