Components in chocolate could interfere with cannabis potency tests
Cannabis-based edibles like gummy bears, cookies, and chocolates have flooded the grocery market in states that have legalized it. These sugary treats have created major headaches for scientists trying to analyze their potency and contaminants. Researchers now report that components in chocolate could interfere with cannabis potency tests, leading to inaccurate results.
American Chemical Society It is the largest scientific society in the world, it is a non-profit organization accredited by the United States Congress. ACS is the world leader in access to information and research in chemistry through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals, and scientific conferences. The ACS does not conduct research, but publishes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are located in Washington, DC and Columbus, Ohio.
Following this discovery, the researchers will present their results to the American Chemical Society (ACS) in the fall of 2019. The EA will hold its meeting that will include more than 9,500 presentations on a wide range of scientific topics.
“My research focuses on cannabis potency testing because of the high stakes,” says David Dawson, Ph.D., principal investigator on the project. “If an edible cannabis product is 10% less than the amount indicated on the label, California law says it must be re-labeled, with considerable time and expense. But it is even worse if a product tests 10% or more above the amount indicated on the label, then the entire batch must be destroyed. “
Manufacturers add cannabis to a wide variety of foods, and the composition of these products, also known as the “matrix,” can affect potency test results. Dawson and his colleagues at CW Analytical Laboratories decided to focus on activity testing to Cannabis-infused chocolates because it is a very common product. CW Analytical Laboratories is a cannabis testing laboratory in Oakland, California, where recreational marijuana was legalized in 2018. “We also noticed, anecdotally, some strange potency variations depending on how we obtained it. We prepared the chocolate samples for analysis.” , He says. . Therefore, Dawson studied the effects of changing sample preparation conditions, such as amounts of chocolate and solvent, pH, and type of chocolate, on the concentration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC; the main psychoactive component cannabis) measured by high yield liquid. chromatography (HPLC).
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His results were surprising. “When we had less cannabis-infused chocolate in the sample vial, say 1 gram, we got higher THC concentrations and more accurate values than when we had 2 grams of the same chocolate infused in the vial,” says Dawson. “This goes against what I consider to be a basic statistical representation of the samples, where it would be assumed that the more samples you have, the more representative they are of the whole. These results suggest that another component of chocolate (a matrix effect) would suppress the Δ9-THC signal.
“Simply changing the amount of sample in the vial could determine whether a sample passes or fails, which could have a huge impact on the producer of the chocolate bars, as well as the customer, who could be underdosed or overdosed. because of this strange peculiarity of matrix effects ”, he points out.
Now Dawson is trying to figure out which ingredient in chocolate is responsible for the effects of the matrix. He tried adding a standard Δ9-THC solution with varying amounts of chocolate bars, cocoa powder, baked chocolate, and white chocolate, all of which have different components, and watched the HPLC signal change. “Our best clue right now is that it has something to do with fat, which makes sense given that Δ9-THC is fat soluble,” says Dawson.
The team would like to extend their analyzes to other cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive substance that is present in many edible products. In addition, they plan to study other food matrices, such as chocolate chip cookies. Dawson hopes the research will contribute to the development of standardized methods for evaluating the potency of cannabis in a variety of edible products. “We owe this research to the scientific community, producers and consumers,” he says. “We need to be able to provide very accurate and precise tests on a wide range of matrices. “
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Cannabis-infused chocolate can interfere with the accuracy of third-party testing of required cannabinoid levels in many jurisdictions.
This possibility, presented in a new 2020 study, highlights the need for the cannabis industry to develop precise analytical techniques to provide accurate tests for potency and contamination to ensure the safety of medical and recreational products.
Researchers at CW Analytical Laboratories in Oakland, California, found that when a standard amount of THC was mixed with different amounts of chocolate, be it milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or cocoa powder, the THC content of the mixture appeared to be significantly lower. below the known concentration, especially for milk chocolate and dark chocolate.
In other words, the more chocolate used in the mix, the less THC was recovered from the test. This chocolate interference, known to chemists as a matrix effect, has also been observed for cannabinol, but not for CBD or cannabigerol, which may be due to structural differences between these cannabinoids. In states of the United States where cannabis is legal, cannabis products must be tested for their cannabinoid potency.
In California, for example, growers must test the levels of six cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, before sale. If the quantity does not differ by more than 10% from that indicated on the label, the product must be re-labeled or destroyed, resulting in significant additional costs.
Although the amount of interference observed between chocolate and cannabinoids was low enough in this study not to cause a product to fail, it underscores the importance of developing standardized tests for cannabis products.
Malheureusement, when it was the mosaic of the legislation of an État à l’autre, there is no country of standard protocols that the laboratories tiers provide for the analysis of all the different types of products, and include the chocolats infectés au cannabis, currently sur the market.
Unlike the food industry, where precise and accurate chemical analyzes are common, the legal cannabis industry is in the early stages of developing such standard techniques.
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