Potency analysis is accomplished using a High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) instrument here at MRX Labs. This instrument gives us the ability to separate the 8 major cannabinoids we analyze, identify and quantify these analytes accurately from an extracted solution of cannabinoids.
The overall analysis consists of a porous adsorbent column, pumps, a mobile phase of different solvents and an UV detector. The extracted solution of cannabinoids is injected from the sample vial into the instrument and pumped through the porous column in tandem with the mobile phase. Depending on the polarity, size and other unique characteristics of each cannabinoid, the analytes are “pushed” through the column at different rates. The analytes that are bigger and more attracted to the material in the column are “retained” within the column for a longer time than smaller less column attracted analytes, resulting in the smaller analytes “eluting” from the column quicker than the bigger analytes. Each analyte in turn elutes from the column at different and distinct times during the run. The analytes are quantified by passing through a UV detector located at the end of the column as each analyte has an associated “charge”, which is what the HPLC is quantifying. A unique bell curve is created on the instrument program, allowing us to convert the data into percent by weight values for each analyte based on our calibration curve.
Our process can be easily broken into a few simple steps: (note that concentrates and edibles vary slightly)
1. Homogenize the sample(s)
2. Weigh out necessary amount to complete analysis
3. Extract sample(s)
4. Dilute samples(s)
5. Set up batch table to process sample(s) on the HPLC to allow analysis
6. Check each QC sample to entail accurate and uninfluenced results
7. Report all results to LIMS system!