Addressing Cannabis Research Challenges with Gas Chromatography

With marijuana decriminalization on the rise in the United States, many people might expect to see more sophisticated systems of labeling and identification in their newly sanctioned cannabis products.

medical-marijuana

Unlike tobacco, however, marijuana is decidedly more difficult to obtain and research considering its illicit history.

“As a result, pot science has to run to catch up with America’s new landscape,” Mental Floss reported in a March 16 article, “and the results have been spotty.”

According to a June 2015 study of 75 medical cannabis products, only 17 percent were accurately labeled. Twenty-three percent were underlabeled, and 60 percent were overlabeled in regards to THC content.

Edible marijuana products, such as brownies and cookies, compound these difficulties even further.

holding-brownie

“The cannabis plant itself is easy enough to test, but when you add flour, sugar, and butter, things get complicated,” Mental Floss continued. “Most labs use a machine called a high-performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC). But HPLCs were designed to handle refined chemicals, not baked goods.”

Luckily, gas chromatography (in conjunction with QuEChERS) has shown promise in tackling the sweet stuff:

Check out this recent application note on the Extraction and GC/MS Analysis of Cannabinoids from Brownies >>>

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2 thoughts on “Addressing Cannabis Research Challenges with Gas Chromatography

    • Thanks so much for the feedback. However, this was a direct quote from Mental Floss. While most chromatography users are aware of the proper verbiage, the distinction can be (understandably) tricky. 🙂

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