17 Feb 4 Companies bringing path breaking innovation to the Cannabis Potency Testing Industry
The Global legal marijuana market is likely to reach over USD 66.3 billion by the end of 2025, as per a report by Grand View Research, Inc, growing at a CAGR of 23.9%. There is a growing acceptance of the curative effects of cannabis, with some countries such as Canada and certain states of U.S legalizing the use of Marijuana for medical and recreational use. Research has time and again shown that cannabinoids (CBD), extracted from the cannabis plant, have varied medical uses with minimal side effects, making it a sought after alternative to traditional pharmaceutical options.
The U.S, where the use of cannabis has only been legalized in 33 states for medical use and 11 states for recreational use, is one of the largest untapped markets for Marijuana, with an estimated value of over USD 11.9 billion in 2018, which is likely to grow at a CAGR of 24.1% from 2019 to 2025.
Currently 33 states in the U.S along with Washington, D.C. have legalized medical marijuana while 10 states (plus D.C.) permit recreational cannabis. 2018 was a great year for CDB industry, not only was the Farm Bill passed that allowed for the sale of hemp and hemp-based cannabidiol products, but the FDA also approved its very first cannabis-derived drug Epidiolex for treatment of seizures.
The call for reform for legalizing marijuana at the federal level is gaining momentum with research proving time and again the many benefits of cannabinoids in treatment of various physical and neurological conditions. There is a growing acceptance of cannabis as pointed out by a survey by Gallup in October 2018, which saw two out of three adults now favor legalizing weed nationally.
One major concern for a person using CBD for the first time is whether the quality and potency of the product being sold is true to its claim. A study that was conducted on 84 CBD based products that were purchased online from 31 companies reveals some startling information. The products were sent to a third party independent lab for blind testing, and out of the total sample, 26% had less CBD than advertised on the label (Over-labeled) and 42% had more CBD than advertised (Under-labeled). Only 31% of the products had accurately reported the CBD content. This shows the need for a more stringent regulatory framework for monitoring and testing cannabis based medicinal products.
There are mainly three ways in which CBD oil can be extracted, the first are Low-priced methods of extraction which involve the use of toxic solvent like propane and butane which are extremely dangerous for health, the second is the Ethanol-based extraction, which is considered safe and reliable as it removes toxins from the plant and gives the highest yield. The third is the Supercritical CO2-based extractions, which yields the purest form of CBD oil and is the most advanced form of extraction, which means you get the highest quality CBD product.
Additionally, the quality of CBD is also directly dependant on the quality of hemp being harvested. Hemp is known as a “hyper accumulator”, it essentially means that it absorbs everything in its surrounding and from the soil in which it is grown. If the soil is rich in pesticides or herbicides, mercury or lead, then it can lead to the oils being contaminated with all the above.
Ideally to derive the full benefit it is imperative to choose a product that is full spectrum or made from the whole cannabis plant to maximize the “entourage” effect and not just CBD isolates. Third-party lab testing report goes a long way to show that a company has nothing to hide and is committed to providing quality products. Most companies which make dubious claims do not have reports to back up their tall claims.
A Group of lawmakers from the state of Washington put forward a proposal namely House Bill 2546, which calls for limiting THC levels to no more than 10%, owing to concerns about a possible link between Cannabis and psychosis, prompting them to seek the reduction in the allowed potency of all non-medical concentrates presently being sold in the market.
GemmaCert recently unveiled an industry-first innovation, a product that can reveal the THC content of cannabis within a span of minutes, even if the THC levels are low as 0.2%. The device addresses a very pressing need in the law enforcement to differentiate between hemp and marijuana on the spot for law enforcement personnel who need to determine if the THC content of the crop is below the legally permissible level of less than 0.3 percent. The portable device utilizes the Company’s patented technology combining near-infrared spectroscopy, image analysis and advanced data analytics according to a Company statement.
The device is of great help to the grower and cultivation community who need to comply with stringent government regulations that mandate the destruction of plant material that breaches the >0.3 percent THC level. Farmers can use the device to track the potency levels of their crop and ensure that the harvest is done just-in-time to eliminate the possibility of THC levels breaching the legally permissible limit. In addition the product can also be used by extract producers, manufacturers, pharmacies, clinics, dispensaries and edible manufacturers.
The technology used by the Company offers an improvement over high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) by considerably reducing the time and cost expended to establish an average for the batch being tested. GemmaCert uses Artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze results and make continuous improvements.
Engineered Medical Technologies
The Company’s tCheck is a home-based cannabis potency tester, which was first developed as a 3d printed prototype in 2015, is an infusion potency tester which is capable of assimilating live readings of cannabis potency in minutes and can be used for both personal as well as commercial use. The Device can be used with both oil infusions and alcohol tinctures to test for the presence of THC, CBD or THCa, however the accuracy of the device may be affected in case of testing blended cannabinoids.
The device comes with an expansion kit, which overcomes this limitation and is able to detect THCa dominant cannabis (marijuana) as well as CBDa dominant hemp. tCheck offers an accuracy range of within +/- 1.5mg/ml when testing oil infusions and alcohol tinctures and an accuracy range of within +/- 3 percentage points when dealing with cannabis flower, hemp, or trim. In addition tCheck is also available to test infusions in the edible market such as butter, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and alcohol tinctures. The device is portable and comes with reusable tray, which along with the expansion kit enables the user to conduct a 9 flower test with ease and convenience. The device is also equipped with an app that helps user determine the exact quantities needed for the perfect infusion by inputting a set of values
From a growers perspective, tCheck helps determine the levels of THCa on the spot, which not only helps in deciding if the current crop can be processed into concentrates but also in meeting regulatory guidelines. Furthermore the device only needs a pea-sized sample of the plant, which is at least 60 percent, dried to come up with the results. The app associated with the device enables growers to keep a track of their previous test results while maintaining notes about important information.
Furthermore the device can be used for testing the potency of cannabis concentrates to improve yield and identify the areas of loss in production. tCheck is also very helpful for caregivers to achieve consistent dosing of medicines and keep a tight check on dose calculations using the app provided.
Sage Analytics’s TOX Detective is a portable field testing device that helps check for contamination through pesticides, insecticides and fungicides in cannabis. The device offer multifold benefits to various stakeholders in the cannabis industry such as Growers, who can use device to measure the potency of their produce right at the cultivation site; Extraction service providers can ensure the right potency for their products, laboratories can cut down on time and cost involved in testing using traditional equipment and dispensaries can monitor the quality of their purchases and share the information with its customers.
The system provides a significant improvement over expensive and time-consuming traditional methods of determining potency, by offering a faster, safer and more cost-effective alternative.
The system uses the NIR Spectroscopy, an industry testing standard for calculate potency in a few seconds. NIR (Near Infrared Light) is an FDA approved technology that has been used in manufacturing and agriculture sectors for decades. The use of this technology results in cost saving improved efficiency and more reliable results, eliminating the risks associated with extensive sample handling and processing.
The Company’s next-generation profiling devices incorporate optical spectroscopy to measure vital cannabinoids that determine the potency of oils, flowers, trimmings and extracts. Sage is leveraging its expertise in developing real-time solutions to address problems in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to bring testing accuracy to the cannabis industry.
Sage offers The Profiler II Humboldt special edition potency tester, TOX detective, The Beacon that offers laboratory grade potency data in a stylish desktop unit that comes with a touchscreen and is ideally suited for dispensary environments. Additionally the Company also offers CannaMetric profile labels, which come with its Beacon and Luminary Profiler, for easily printable dosage information.
Purpl PRO is the Company’s instant potency measurement device that offers convenience, portability and affordability. The device has been designed focusing on making the process of cannabis testing affordable and economical. The app that is integral to the device helps get an instant analysis of a cannabis sample, including complete information about both THC and CBD, which match the results generated through a laboratory. Purpl PRO can be used by a wide range of service providers in the cannabis industry such as Cultivators, Distributors, Manufacturers, Extractors, dispensaries and consumers.
Purpl PRO understands and is capable of differentiating between individual cannabinoid percentages such as CBD, CBDa, Hemp, THC, THCa or the total amounts of THC and CBD, which helps in the generation of accurate and reliable results. Purpl Scientific is primarily a technology Company that leverages path breaking new age technologies to create portable devices that are fast, affordable, accurate and extremely potent. The technology behind Purpl PRO has been tried and tested in the agriculture and pharmaceuticals industry for over 70 years by the Company. The approach has been to reduce the size and lower the price, without compromising on performance or potency.
The Company’s research and development team, based in Finland, comprises leading scientists, innovators and engineers from diverse fields such as artificial intelligence, miniaturization, mobile application development, optical science and machine learning. Purpl Scientific intends to diversify to other critical areas of the industry such as Moisture Measurement, Extract Measurement and Terpene Measurement in the future.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
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