Terpene analysis is a non-accredited and non-required analysis in the state of Oregon that can be conducted on flower, concentrates and extracts. At MRX Labs, we accomplish this through the use of a Headspace Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (HS-GCMS) instrument. There are over 140 cannabis identified terpenoids, but we currently only test for the most prevalent 18 terpenoids. Terpenes are volatile components found in the oils of plants, giving them their unique smells and tastes. Terpenes chemically act like cannabinoids in that they also bind to receptors in the brain, giving some terpenes a synergistic relationship with cannabinoids by increasing their effects. Because of the volatility of these compounds, the use of a HS-GCMS is one of the best instruments used to quantify each component by PPM.
The process in which samples undergo terpene analysis is very unique in that there is no extraction process. A sample of your product is weighed out and sealed within a non porous rubber topped glass vial and placed on the sample tray of the HS-GCMS. The sampler of the instrument injects the rubber top, drawing up a sample purely from the headspace gas volume inside the vial. The subsample is loaded into the inlet before being carried by helium (mobile phase) into a long column that heats up to specific temperatures across a gradient. The subsample is dispensed into the column (stationary phase) at a temperature below the lowest boiling point (B.P.) temperature of any of the analytes. As the column heats up, analytes within the subsample vaporize and mix with the carrier gas, pushing the analytes to the detector that converts an electrical signal into data produced in a chromatogram. The analyte with the lowest B.P. temperature exits the column first, while the analyte with highest B.P. temperature will be the last analyte to exit the column, effectively allowing separation of all analytes.
The benefit of conducting a terpene analysis on your product is the ability to showcase your unique growing conditions as each harvest contains a unique terpene profile. For concentrates/extracts, if you are able to retain your terpenes through your process, receiving a terpene analysis will also exhibit your methods of making your product as most, but not all, concentrates/extracts strip the terpenes. Please visit our pricing page for this analysis.