7th November 2018

Cannabis quality tests now much faster thanks to HPLC

A new method of measuring phytocannabinoids has been developed and HPLC has been found to hold the key to faster measurements times. Read on to learn more and to discover our nitrogen generators for HPLC – ELSD.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia have created a new method of measuring phytocannabinoids which is more than twice as quick as traditional methods. Phytocannabinoids are the cannabinoids which occur naturally in the cannabis plant and they are the primary bioactive molecules in cannabis.

There are more than 100 phytocannabinoids with differing biological effects. Traditional phytocannabinoid testing can take around 20 minutes but the UBC team can now measure the cannabinoids in 7 minutes.

The team used High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to test the potency of 11 phytocannabinoids, they limited the testing to these 11 variants as they were the ones which were commercially available at the time of testing.


Streamline your HPLC-ELSD with a gas generator    


The researchers say their new faster testing method will save cannabis producers who require thousands of samples to be tested a great deal of time and money. Cannabis potency testing can be tricky as it is difficult to differentiate between different phytocannabinoids. The UBC team’s solution to overcome this is to use high pressure liquid chromatography as HPLC instruments are able to isolate each individual phytocannabinoid to measure them independently.

ELSD, an Evaporative Light Scattering Detector is one of the most universal detectors available for HPLC and as well as being used to detect phytocannabinoids in cannabis, it can be used to detect samples which are undetectable with RIDs or UV detection methods, such as samples with short elution times, carbohydrates, sugar alcohols and surfactants.

For labs which use ELSD and require ELSD nitrogen, PEAK Scientific’s Solaris 10 nitrogen generator is an ideal gas solution for the dry clean inert nitrogen gas required for up to 2 ELSD instruments while the Solaris XE 35 nitrogen generator can supply ELSD nitrogen for multiple instruments. 

Solaris 10 nitrogen gas generator for ELSD

Solaris 10 nitrogen gas generator


Need nitrogen for ELSD?    


If your lab performs cannabis potency testing you may wish to learn more about UBC’s fast testing for cannabis quality. Their research was originally published in the Phytochemical Analysis Journal 2018. If you use or are considering using HPLC for sample detection, you can learn more about PEAK Scientific’s nitrogen generators for ELSD nitrogen.




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