Testing Cannabis in the Lab?

Find Answers to Your Cannabis Testing and Analysis Questions

Lab Weighing & Moisture Analysis

Sartorius Moisture Analyzers are a fast and easy-to-use alternative with measurement times of just a few minutes.  They can easily be adapted to your needs and samples to make sure you get comparable results to your drying oven. 

Looking for more information? Read our Technical Note: MA 160: In Three Steps to Right and Compliant Results

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Sartorius offers a broad range of moisture analyzers for different requirements. Just contact us and our moisture specialists will be happy to find the best solution for you and support you with your application.

Looking for more information? Read our Brochure: The New MA 160 Moisture Analyzer Manages Your Sophisticated Tasks

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Select an adequate sample size based on the starting moisture content and ensure proper sample preparation, treatment and storage prior to testing.

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Moisture Content Determination in Cannabis Inflorescence

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Some key criteria include fast analysis time (to maximize throughput) and sufficient resolution to accurately and reproducibly handle even the smallest of sample sizes.

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Moisture Content Determination in Cannabis Inflorescence

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The concentration of standards must be as accurate as possible to prevent subsequent errors in the determination of unknown concentrations of compounds in samples. In analytic experiments, standards of low concentration are often used and the preparation of these standards is a critical step in the process. When weighing out small quantities of compounds, it is very difficult to match the calculated target amount. This results in the need to repeat the weighing step or the need to recalculate the solvent quantity, to reach the desired final concentration.

For expensive compounds, the weighing process cannot be repeated; instead the solvent volume is adjusted, however manual calculation is an error prone step. However, a dosing solution can weigh out the specific amount of compounds, automatically adjust the solvent volume accordingly and gravimetrically measure the effectively applied solvent weight. This automated approach allows you to calculate the verified concentration of the prepard standard.   

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A laboratory information management system (LIMS) is a software-based solution that enables scientists to manage samples and their associated data, by automating workflows and integrating instruments. Using LIMS and electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs) you can create a complete digital workflow that is compliant with ALCOA+ principles. It is important to ensure that instruments include technical controls that fulfil 21 CFR part 11 requirements.

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Integration of Sartorius Cubis® II Premium Balances into STARLIMS™ from Abbott Informatics

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Pipetting & Dispensing

Leachables from plastic consumables like pipette tips can cause ghost peaks in HPLC. To avoid this, select pipette tips manufactured from high quality raw material, without plastic additives. If you use low retention tips, make sure that the low retention coating is resistant to your liquids. Sartorius Pipette tips are manufactured from virgin Polypropylene (PP) with no additives like plasticisers or colours and our Low Retention coating technology ensures one of the highest chemical resistances on the market.

Looking for more information? Read our Brochure: HPLC Sample Preparation

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Organic solvents, like methanol and acetonitrile, tend to leak due to high vapor pressure. To avoid leaking, use reverse pipetting technique and pre-wet the tip 3-5 times. Use pipettes and tips from the same manufacturer to ensure the best compatibility without leaking. Filter tips are highly recommended to protect the pipette from solvent fumes. Make sure there is enough space between liquid and filter during reverse pipetting.

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Performance Comparison of Low Retention Pipette Tips From Various Manufacturers

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It is important to ensure the chemical resistance of pipette tips and bottle top dispenser tubings as they come in contact with your samples and reagents. The chemical compatibility can be checked by clicking the link below. 

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Chemical Resistance Chart of Pipette Tips

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Leachables from plastic consumables such as pipette tips can cause contamination peaks, also commonly referred to as “ghost” peaks in HPLC. To avoid this, select pipette tips manufactured from high-quality raw materials, that contain no plastic additives. If you use low retention tips, make sure that the low retention coating is resistant to your liquids.

Sartorius’ pipette tips are manufactured from virgin polypropylene (PP) with no additives (plasticisers or colors) and our low retention coating technology ensures one of the highest chemical resistances on the market.

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Leachable-Free Pipette Tips for Analytical Cannabis Testing

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For trace metal analysis it is important that you don’t introduce interfering trace metals from your reagents, sample tubes, containers or pipette tips. To avoid this, select high-quality products that have been tested for leachables. Check that your suppliers provide data to show the leachable levels.

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Leachable-Free Pipette Tips for Analytical Cannabis Testing

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Common methods used for cannabinoid analysis include; gas chromatography (GC), liquid chromatography (LC) or mass spectrometry (MS).

Looking for more information? Read our Infographic: Analysis of Active and Toxic Substances in Cannabis: Common Methods and Challenges of Sample Preparation

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Many pesticides are hydrophobic, making them difficult to isolate from the sample matrix – which is essential to achieve accurate results. This challenge can be alleviated during the initial extraction step, by using an organic solvent and salt solution followed by dispersive solid-phase extraction (SPE). 

Looking for more information? Read our Infographic: Analysis of Active and Toxic Substances in Cannabis: Common Methods and Challenges of Sample Preparation

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Lab Water

The Arium® Mini plus UV and pro UV systems provide excellent reduction of TOCs, which makes them highly suitable for analytical applications, such as cell cultivation and chromatography. In principle, a TOC-level <2 ppb avoids ghost peaks. Moreover, Arium® Mini plus UV and Arium pro UV rules out typical impurities that would otherwise be found in HPLC-grade bottled water, such as Na+ ions.

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Ultrapure Water for HPLC Analysis | The Role of Ultrapure Water

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DI-cartridges are unsuitable for water pretreatment before HPLC. At a minimum, we recommend a reverse osmosis pretreatment system. Ideally, we propose reverse osmosis combined with electrodeionization (EDI) before HPLC applications.

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Ultrapure Water for HPLC Analysis | The Role of Ultrapure Water

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Self-produced water is cost-effective, in constant supply and reduces the risk of contamination. Additionally, the quality of the water can be maintained more easily. 

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Cannabis Testing: In-House Prepared Water as an Alternative to Bottled HPLC-Grade Water

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Lab Filtration

Syringe filters are available in different membrane materials. Choosing the most appropriate filtration device for your needs is extremely important, as poor choices can negatively impact the success of your analyte recovery. In addition, membranes can be a source of interfering compounds and leachables. Sartorius Minisart syringe filters have different membrane options – regenerated cellulose (RC), Nylon, GF+Nylon, PTFE.

All of our syringe filter options support the accurate quantification of cannabinoids, whilst also allowing users to customize the filter membrane material for HPLC sample preparation, according to their specific needs. 

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Does Syringe Filtration Impact Recovery of Cannabinoids Prior to Potency Testing?

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Cannabis extracts tend to have a high number of solid particles. It is important to remove these particles before HPLC analysis, as they can cause wear in the pumps and valves or unwanted fluctuations in pressure. Columns and frits blockages can lead to a reduction in the quality of results. Improper sample preparation is cost-intensive and results in increased downtime and maintenance efforts.

Looking for more information? Read our Application Note: Does Syringe Filtration Impact Recovery of Cannabinoids Prior to Potency Testing?

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