What is cannabinoid profiling?
Cannabinoid profiling informs patients about the concentration of active cannabinoids in their medicine. Researchers have identified over 70 cannabinoid compounds, many of which possess distinct medicinal benefits. This table provides an overview of the most common cannabinoid compounds and their pharmacological effects. You can see that, while THC is the most well-known cannabinoid, it is only responsible for a fraction of cannabis’ medicinal benefits. For this reason, we also test for CBD, CBDA, CBN, and THCA.
Why does cannabinoid profiling matter?
As is the case with any pharmaceutical product, the active ingredients in cannabis should be clearly labeled. Cannabinoid profiling allows doctors to determine accurate dosage, ensures that providers can verify the quality of their products, and helps patients to select the right treatment for their symptoms. Researchers continue to make groundbreaking discoveries about the medical benefits of cannabinoids, but these revelations can only be harnessed when consumers, providers, and healthcare practitioners possess reliable data on the contents of their medicine.
How do we measure potency?
At SC Labs, we utilize high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC/DAD) to provide full cannabinoid profiling. HPLC works by extracting a sample into a solvent, isolating the target compound, and employing a UV detector to measure concentration. Unlike gas chromatography, liquid chromatography does not heat the sample. HPLC is therefore still reliable when measuring heat sensitive compounds such as THCA and CBDA.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that endow cannabis with its unique scent. Terpene analysis is crucial for differentiating between strains of cannabis, as terpenes have a major influence on the medical and psychological effects of a plant. In fact, the relationship between cannabinoids and terpenoids, known as the “entourage effect,” ultimately distinguishes one strain of medical cannabis from another.
Why does terpene analysis matter?
Terpene analysis is beneficial for patients, providers, and breeders alike.
- Understanding terpenes is essential to helping patients identify the right strain for their symptoms.
- Terpene analysis allows collectives and budtenders to customise treatment programs for their clients and optimize a strain’s pharmacological effects.
- Through understanding terpenes, breeders can selectively modulate the terpene ratios of their strains, in order to maximize desired benefits.
How does SC Labs test for terpenes?
SC Labs uses gas chromatography with flame ionized detection (FID) to test 36 commonly found terpenes. Our list currently includes:
- Caryophyllene Oxide
- Geranyl Acetate
- Sabinene Hydrate