PerkinElmer
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Application Note

Fast, Accurate, and Precise Terpene Testing of Cannabis Samples

Introduction

Like all botanicals and plants found in nature, cannabis also contains terpenes, which are the aromatic oils that give rise to the distinctive flavors and aromas found in cannabis varieties. There have been up to 140 different types of terpenes reported in cannabis, but multiple studies suggest that approximately 17 are the most common and can be used for examining their chemotype. The diverse palate of cannabis terpenes is impressive enough, but arguably their most fascinating characteristic is their ability to interact synergistically with other compounds in the plant, like cannabinoids. In the past few decades, a significant amount of work has been performed to understand the ‘entourage effect’, which scientists refer to as synergistic interaction between terpenes and cannabinoids in the human body. This effect is believed to magnify the therapeutic benefits of the plant’s individual components - so that the medicinal impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts quantifying which terpenes are present is an important aspect of understanding the unique effects of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational users. The PerkinElmer HS-GC/MS solution for the determination of terpenes is fast and robust providing the laboratory with greater sample throughput, instrument uptime, essentially a maintenance free system, and enhanced profits. Additionally, this procedure is a turnkey solution; therefore, all acquisition and processing methods and standard operating procedures (SOP) will be provided upon installation of the system. To further validate the performance of this method for the industry, The Emerald Test Proficiency Test (PT) for Potency was conducted. The Emerald Test™ is an Inter-Laboratory Comparison and Proficiency Test (ILC/PT) program for cannabis testing labs. The results from the PT inter-laboratory samples passed; therefore, the method meets inter-laboratory reproducibility and accuracy.