Proper Edible Analysis with LC
With a broad based experience in testing many different edible product types, we felt it was time to share with fellow patients some of what we’ve learned. In short, we’ve seen amazing variability in the THC levels within the edible and orally consumable products. Unfortunately from a patient’s perspective, it is terrifying and impossible to figure out what edible product is best for you, as no one is “consistent”. It is insanely frustrating for patients to have to self-titrate mysteriously each time they acquire another edible, even when it is made from the same provider as batch to batch variability is definitely a concern.
Patients must first understand that not all testing for edibles is done the same, and not all of it is accurate. There is only one way an edible, or otherwise orally consumable, product can be analyzed properly, and that is with the use of an LC ! The liquid chromatography approach is the only way it can be done! There are quite a few other labs out there that use a gas chromatography, or GC, approach to analyze these products, and that simply can not be done. The images below should help to understand why.
A liquid chromatograph operates at room temperatures and does not cause changes to molecules by heating them. A gas chromatograph destroys the chemicals native to cannabis and degrades THCA to create artificial CBN values and inaccurate amounts of THC due to the excessive heat it uses to process the sample.
We can tell you we’ve seen every possible permutation involving different ratios of THC/THCA. While most labels contain currently useless information, such as how many grams of some flower, concentrate or other oil, were used to make the particular product, or is supposedly in that particular piece of the product, the inaccuracies may in fact be worse. In the event your edible has been tested by a GC method a misrepresented THC or CBD values may result, as this method converts cannabinoid acids to neutral cannabinoids before detection, in other words it doesn’t tell you exactly what you are holding as the GC method chemically changes things. Ultimately, this leads to a massive misunderstanding of patient dosing and inaccurate reporting of edible active component content. Simply put all portions of edible production, whether intermediate concentrate or final product, need to be analyzed with an LC approach.
We’ve seen the labels containing 3X, 5X, whateverX, values that had X absolutely not the same. You can not trust X or how many X’s are on a package to know what type of dose you are receiving. The same goes for how many grams of a material, such as hash, or how many grams of cannabis was added to each product. What percentage of THCA/THC was that concentrate or flower product? How can any edible manufacturers know they are putting the same amount in each product without the use of a laboratory when everything they do in their process is varying all the time? If it hasn’t been tested for mg of cannabinoid in the edible with an LC, you don’t know what dose you are receiving.
Fortunately, cannabis is relatively safe and in the event you have consumed too much a patient just needs to wait for things to run their course, or possibly even fall asleep and rest it off. It is very strongly recommended that all patients look for edible products that have been tested by an LC method, such as the one used by us here at The Werc Shop. Not all labs are the same, not all analyses methods are the same, know who’s providing you with your information, and demand that it is someone you know you can trust!