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The cannabis plant consists of a large variety of chemicals and compounds. Approximately 140 belong to a class of aromatic organic hydrocarbons known as terpenes.


The important psychoactive component in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and is therefore the primary interest of potency testing.


In addition to terpene and potency profiles, there is a huge demand for laboratories to identify a wide variety of contaminants.


The growing use of vaporizers, combined with the market in electronic cigarettes, has created huge demand for “vaping” oils.

A New Focus On An Ancient Remedy

Outlawed more than 80 years ago, cannabis has surfaced from its relegated position as an alternative holistic remedy and popular psychotropic, to what may now become the next economic juggernaut, inspiring investment from big pharma and independent research organizations around the world. Once on the fringes of the financial world, cannabis stocks are gaining traction, and fortune 500 companies are leaving the sidelines as the stigma surrounding cannabis washes away and popular acceptance is reflected across the political spectrum. As of this writing, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, with 11 legalizing it for recreational use.

The industry is now broadly divided into two markets: the market for medical marijuana and the market for recreational marijuana. Both markets will continue to drive demand for extensive laboratory testing and new analytical tools that can enhance research and ensure safety for millions of end users. Legislation for consumer protection is still relatively young and evolving frequently, however, early State leaders such as Oregon, Vermont and California may help to shape the standards that are ultimately adopted nationwide. At this stage, laboratories must be prepared to handle any type of sample that finds its way into the marketplace and no matter what form it takes; smokeable, vapable, edible, drinkable or a lotion infused with CBD applied dermally, the cannabis plant will certainly throw down a testing gauntlet. For the analytical Introducing A Solvent-Free Toolbox For The Analytical Canna-Chemist chemist, the phrase ‘a can of worms,’ may well be replaced with ‘a vial of gummy sativa,’ as the plants from the family Cannabaceae have developed a reputation for posing a significant sample preparation challenge. Samples generally come in three forms: dried flower, extracts, and edibles. The variability makes sample preparation more difficult as extraction and cleanup methods must be adapted to each. Additionally, extraction efficiencies, matrix effects, and interferences can be totally unpredictable.

Introducing A Solvent-Free Toolbox For The Analytical Canna-Chemist

Understanding Current Testing Needs & Common Approaches

Cannabis contains around 500 endogenous compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes and terpenoids (a modified class of terpenes with different functional groups), flavonoids, and omega fatty acids.Unfortunately, final cannabis products may also contain unwanted chemicals such as pesticides and extraction solvents. For the modern cannabis lab, many technologies are needed to satisfy all the testing requirements.

A novel extraction technology developed by Entech, called the Sorbent Pen™

coupled with thermal desorption GC-MS (TD-GCMS) offers labs an affordable, versatile and high-sensitivity alternative to many solvent extraction methods. The table on the following page highlights the common analytical approaches for the various testing requirements. Sample preparation and extraction techniques vary considerably and are generally the most time consuming part of any cannabis analysis.




Improvements over SPME and Dynamic Headspace Trapping

  • Highly Reproducible

  • Minimal carryover without the need for a secondary bakeout/cleanup step.

  • Durable - hundreds of injections

  • Operates at or near equilibrium to improve sensitivity and quantitative accuracy.

  • Perform exhaustive vacuum extraction of VOCs through SVOCs

  • Unlike SPME, outer sheath minimizes exposure to aerosols formed during agitation

Entech's Extraction Technology

Sorbent Pen Applications

Water Analysis



Emerging Contaminants

Odor Agents

EPA 8270



Pesticide Screening

Terpene Profiling

Risidual Solvents

Cannabinoid Potency

Food Safety






Clinical Markers/ Drug In





More Inside the Brochure

Cannabis Brochure

Advantages of Vacuum Assisted Sorbent Extraction

VASE vs SPME & SBSE Recovery Relative to Analyte Volatility

Product & Product Bundles & GC Components

Full Terpene & Cannabinoid Profile in Single GC-MS Run

Sample Preparation & Extraction

Solutions and Accessories

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