It takes unique technical understanding of the analytical capabilities, selection of the right tool for the job, and knowledge of individual needs and physiological conditions to help develop the right regulatory structure. We’ve presented our understandings in New Jersey, Colorado and locally to Los Angles officials in an effort to help regulators and lawmakers alike understand the details of cannabis, its complex chemistry and physiological impacts. The general components within cannabis are not harmful, but the chemical residues or bacteria that can go with plant derived products can be considerably harmful. Years of legal interpretations, scientific understanding and chemical analysis efforts we have come to be uniquely informed and educated on the details and complicated nuances that exist when considering cannabis and new regulations. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about how we can help educate interested individuals on these complicated topics.
Humboldt State Institute for Integrative Marijuana Research Presentation on November 19, 2013
Streaming Video Link
|An Introduction to Laboratory Results|
|Safety in Labeling Cannabis Properly|
Using The Right Equipment
CANNABINOID PROFILING: The Werc Shop utilizes Liquid Chromatography (LC) to analyze samples for the presence of various cannabinoids of interest such as THC and CBD. Using LC enables direct inspection of samples without the need for modification or concern of inadvertent chemical changes. Comparatively, Gas Chromatography (GC) first heats samples rapidly, often to temperatures in excess of 200°C (392°F). These high temperatures can sometimes cause chemical reactions to occur thereby changing the sample contents before it reaches the analyzer. In the case of cannabis analysis, this is a significant point, because at approximately 105°C very important chemical changes occur to modify the plant’s original chemical composition.
The predominant chemical compounds present in the flowers of cannabis comprise a carboxylic acid. Upon heating the sample above 105°C a chemical transformation occurs, which cause certain compounds to lose their carboxylic acid in the form of carbon dioxide. This exact process, known as decarboxylation, occurs to convert ∆9-THCA-A (1) to ∆9-THC (2) as shown in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1. Decarboxylation of THCA-A to provide THC
To provide the best information possible, The Werc Shop will report the amount present of both of the above molecules, THCA-A (1) and THC (2). In an effort to establish a uniform means of product identification, The Werc Shop will report Maximum THC as the amount of the decarboxylated molecules which are available to be delivered by the use of inhalation products once the product is heated and all A-form molecules undergo the aforementioned chemical transformation. For example, Maximum THC will be reported for flowers calculated as if all of the THCA-A (1) is completely and only converted to THC (2) upon adequate heating. It is important to note that each inhalation delivery device and heating method can produce different amounts of decarboxylated chemicals. Additionally, CBDA goes through the same type of decarboxylation process to provide CBD.
Patients should seek to standardize their medicinal delivery devices and heating methods in order to receive consistent physiological results and maximize their medicating effectiveness.
MICROBIOLOGICAL SCREENING: Microbiological testing is done based on Colony Forming Units (CFUs) per gram of product (or 10g of product for foods) We look for a large breadth of contaminants and we can do so at 3 different levels, we’re calling them Gold, Silver and Bronze. Gold is modeled after USP levels for dried botanicals, Silver is like NSF/WHO level (international standards) and Bronze is AHPA levels.
We look for 3 different types of organisms at the level selected to be screened at when the test is requested (they tell us what they want to pass – Bronze, Silver, Gold).
1.) Total Aerobic Count (TAC) (Gold = 100,000 [10^5], Silver = 1,000,000 [10^6], Bronze = 10,000,000 [10^7])
2.) Enterobacteria (ENT) (Gold = 1,000 [10^3], Silver = 10,000 [10^4], Bronze = 100,000 [10^5])
3.) Yeasts and Molds (YM) (Gold = 1,000 [10^3], Silver = 10,000 [10^4], Bronze = 100,000 [10^5])
The exponent numbers (^5) are basically the total number of zero’s you have after the 1. For example, 10^6 = 1,000,000 (one million). For perspective, each colony forming unit is about 1 million organisms or more! That means, the biggest number we look at, being Bronze TAC at 10^7 = 10,000,000 (ten million) colonies of 1 million or more organisms (at least 10,000,000,000,000 total – ten trillion) in only one gram of material!
Wt. Loss on Drying: Weight loss on drying is the percentage of weight lost when the medicine is dried to a constant weight at a specific temperature. This can enable collective’s to maintain and insure their medicine is being stored properly.