What will your Potency Report look like?
At the end of the testing we immediately print up your potency reports and a set of self-adhesive labels for each sample tested.
On the back of the report is laminated the original printout of the gas chromatograph, which the potency report is based on.
What is the small table of numbers which you see on the front and the back of the report?
It is gas chromatography information – that the analyzer software provides us with. When the strain sample is injected into the gas chromatograph, it is pushed through a 15 meter tube or “column”, where the different cannabinoids are separated out. They then exit out of the end of the column at different times during the 8 minute run. An electron detector detects the electrons from each cannabinoid as they exit the column. This is recorded as a series of curves (called “peaks”) that are printed up in a graph with a small table listing the retention time, area, height and “external” information of the peaks shown in the graph.
The “retention” is the time the most electrons for each cannabinoid are detected as they exit the column – this is shown on the graph as the highest point of the peak. The “area” is the area under the peak (think calculus – area under the curve). The “height” is the height of the peak at the highest point. Finally the “external” is the percentage of the weight of the sample that is THC, or CBD or CBN; this is often referred to as the potency readings.
For example: If you have a reading of 14% THC that means that 14% of the weight is THC – so in a gram of what was tested, 14% or 140 mg or 0.140 g would be THC – now you have an idea of how to calculate dosages if you are making edibles!
As well as the potency results, the amount of THC and CBD in mg are also calculated. If the sample is a liquid, mg/ml and mg/tsp are given. If the sample is a solid, mg in the whole edible, or a specific portion are given.
A straight comparison of area and height between potency reports can be misleading however, because other factors such as standard calibration and sample weight can give different potency readings although the peak height and area are similar. A good but advanced reference book is:
N. DYSON. Chromatographic integration methods. 2nd ed. RSC–-chromatography monographs. Royal Society of Chemistry, London, 1998.