Author Archive

Cannabis Residual Solvents Using MS Detection – I’m Not Hungry but I’ll Eat My Words Anyway

After coming back from a huge lunch at the Bellefonte Wok, a favorite Restek lunch spot, I’m completely stuffed, but I have to eat my words from a previous blog. In this blog, I made the case against using MS detection for headspace analysis of residual solvents in cannabis concentrates due to interference between the […]

It May be Hot Outside, but Your Headspace Analysis Can Still Suffer from the Cold

Summer days are my favorite – hot, sunny, and full of fun. But one thing that’s really not fun is trying to track down contamination and/or carryover in your headspace-GC (HS-GC) system. I get questions about this topic pretty regularly, so I thought I would post a blog on the most common culprit for contamination […]

Extraction Method for Cannabinoid Analysis in Edibles: Too Much of a Good Thing

After a long blog hiatus, I’d like to address one of the most frequently-asked questions we get from cannabis labs: “how do we quantitatively extract cannabinoids from edible matrices?”. With the huge number of matrices out there, limited peer-reviewed data, and lack of sufficiently concentrated reference standards for spiking, it’s no wonder that after several […]

Accurate Quantification of Cannabinoid Acids and Neutrals by GC – Derivatives without Calculus

Derivatization is a widely-used technique for GC sample preparation across many industries and in widely varied matrices from soil to plastics to blood that is used to make polar and active compounds more amenable to good GC analysis. If you’re careful about testing your derivatization procedure during method development, you can be confident that you’ll […]

Accurate Quantification of Cannabinoid Acids by GC – Is it Possible?

I think by now we’ve all heard that GC potency testing for cannabis or hemp has some drawbacks. That being said, GC is a popular, rugged, and cost-effective laboratory workhorse and is still employed in many cannabis laboratories. The major drawback of GC versus HPLC cannabinoid testing is the fact that the acidic cannabinoids convert […]

Terpenes in Cannabis – to MS or not to MS?

In my last blog, I showed how FID is a more suitable detection method for cannabis residual solvent analysis than MS. But what about terpene analysis? Can our old friend the FID hold its ground against the mighty mass spectrometer for this application? Actually, it can! Terpenes are much larger molecules than residual solvents, so […]

Residual Solvents in Cannabis – to MS or not to MS?

Over the past few months, I’ve gotten numerous questions about the best detection method for terpenes and residual solvents in cannabis. It seems that a lot of people are purchasing GC-MS instruments for both of these analyses. While GC-MS is indeed a powerful tool, it’s not really necessary for either analysis. In fact, the use […]

Optimization of Cannabis Analyses from the Emerald Conference

Good news, everyone! I’ve added some comprehensive speaker notes to the talk I delivered at the Emerald Conference about the optimization of cannabis analyses. In this talk, I outlined some easy ways to improve your potency, terpenes, and residual solvents analyses for cannabis. I added the notes in the hope that the talk can be […]

Cannabis Analysis – We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

A little less than a year ago at Pittcon in Chicago, my colleague Frank Dorman from the Pennsylvania State University and I sat down over beers with Ken Snoke and Wes Burk from Emerald Scientific, a small startup distribution business for cannabis labs. We were joined by Bill and Christi Schroeder and Ted Flood from […]

Residual Solvents in Cannabis…and Terpenes with Simon & Garfunkel

By now, a lot of people in the industry know that headspace-gas chromatography (HS-GC) is the ideal analytical technique for analysis of residual solvents in cannabis concentrates, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to perform another pertinent cannabis analysis on our fancy headspace instrument? It turns out that we can. The beauty of […]