In CBD Pharmaceuticals, we developed our own High-performance liquid chromatography method for analysis of 8 cannabinoids and Gas chromatography – mass spectrometry method for analysis of terpenes. We carefully analyse cannabis in every stage of growth and production.
Cannabinoids and terpenes analysis employ different chromatographic procedures. The samples are prepared and injected on the column. As they travel through the column they separate. They travel with different paces, which depends on their chemical structures. At the end of the process, they are detected and quantified.
The three common and highly-sophisticated analytical instruments that require highly educated and trained personnel are Gas chromatography – mass spectrometry, High-performance liquid chromatography and Liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry.
Gas chromatography – mass spectrometry is the most suitable method for the analysis of volatile compounds, like terpenes, but is not the most appropriate method for precise detection of cannabinoids. It does not detect THCA or CBDA directly. Under high temperature exposure, carboxyl groups decarboxylate and a typical Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry output is a total amount of CBD and CBDA or THC and THCA. This is followed by derivatization, that is time consuming and includes steps that increase possibility for errors.
On the other hand, High-performance liquid chromatography is the preferred method for analysing cannabinoids. This method separates every cannabinoid, which enables analysis of acid components, THCA and CBDA without their conversion to THC and CBD.