Portable Capillary LC for Point-of-Need Analysis of Cannabinoids in Hemp
Thursday, March 11, 2021: 1:50 PM - 2:10 PM
Industrial hemp is a plant of the genus Cannabis, which contains no more than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis in any part of the plant (e.g., leaves, flowers, and stems), whether growing or not. Total THC concentration is typically monitored using liquid chromatography (LC) to determine cannabinoid potency and for product labeling in addition to meeting state and federal guidelines for THC in hemp. It is commonly observed that the concentration of cannabinoids increase during the flowering stage. The significant changes in concentrations of THC and other components during this stage may not be detected when following traditional laboratory testing schedules. “Point-of-need” LC analyses would provide important information about crop potency, which would facilitate profitable harvesting decisions while adhering to federal regulations for THC levels in hemp. Miniaturization of LC enables analytical determination of cannabinoids at the point-of-need in a processing facility or agricultural plot, as well as in a conventional laboratory setting. An Axcend Focus portable LC, which is a lightweight (7.8 kg), hand-portable LC system equipped with a capillary column for cannabinoid separation and UV-absorption detection is demonstrated for in-field detection of the most diagnostically important cannabinoids, including CBDA, CBD, THC and THC-A, at levels typically found during the growth cycle in hemp prior to harvesting. This compact LC instrument consumes approximately 1/500th of the solvents of traditional LCs, thus, significantly reducing the need for large solvent and waste bottles that would complicate transport to and routine use of an LC at a hemp farm or processing plant.
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