What does Mini Canna Lab test for?
Mini Cannalab tests the cannabinoid profile of a cannabis (hemp) flower, extract, oil, and at times edible. This profile can be used to analyze a few different aspects of the cannabis sample.
Using the provided chart, the potency of THC and CBD can be determined.
Using the size and density of each spot, CBC and CBG can be compared.
Using detection of a spot, THCV can be identified.
The entire "fingerprint" can be used to compare different strains.
The amount of acids vs the decarbed cannabinoids can be used to anaylze decarb or curing methods. Very useful for processors.
A grower can determine which strains to continue to propegate by testing just the leaves on a plant. A grower can determine if a clone is maintaining an expected cannabinoid profile. A grower can determine if a seedling cannabinoid profile is expected. A grower can determine whether a plant has "jumped".
"results" for more detailed strain and decarb profiling.
Who can use Mini Canna Lab?
Cannabis and Hemp Growers, Processors, and Retailers. Anyone interested in testing their cannabis product. Homegrowers, as well as those in the industry will find this affordable test valuable in determining cannabinoids present in different stages of plant growth, extraction methods, decarb times, and curing. Also useful for monitoring "strain jumping".
How does it work?
Mini Canna Lab uses a testing method called Thin Layer Chromatography or TLC. It is a simple chemistry test using glass plates, test fluid, a developing chamber, and a dye to visualize the cannabinoid profile of a cannabis flower or product.
Is it accurate?
When used correctly, it is comparative to any other method including HPLC and GC. Most useful in comparing all cannabinoids in reference to each other. See "Why are these results different than my local lab?" below.
Is Mini Canna Lab legal?
The test itself does not use any illegal products. Those performing the tests are responsible for determining if the product they are testing is legal in their place of residence.
Why are these results different than my local lab?
There are several reasons why results may vary.
According to our local lab, sample size is the largest factor with inconsistent results. For example, Mini Cannalab uses a small sample 1/10 of a gram. If this sample is taken from a trimmed, tight bud, the amount of trichomes may vary from a sample taken from an untrimmed loose bud. The number of trichomes is the biggest potency variance. This is why Oregon began requiring a larger sample size taking from multiple location on the plant to get the "average" potency. As long as the tester understands this concept and chooses a sample accordingly Mini Cannalab is accurate within 1% of lab results.
Many labs use HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) to test products. Typically a flower is tested in its raw form. If it is recently harvested, the cannabis or hemp contains THCA with very little THC. The lab will then use the formula THCA x .877 + THC = Total THC. This formula is based on the weight of the carboxyl group that will release during decarboxylation. Please see
Decarboxylation for more info.
Mini Cannalab recommends using a decarbed sample for accuracy in test results. The decarbed sample will more accurately reflect the cannabinoids present after lighting and inhaling or using a cannabis product (most are decarbed in processing).
Decarboxylation also dries the sample and reduces variance caused by water weight or what labs might call "moisture content". Labs testing a flower sample may or may not take water weight into consideration.
Another reason results vary, not only with Mini Cannalab, but among all labs, is each lab calibrates their own equipment. There is no governing body that requires equal calibration among labs. Some can vary slightly and some wildly depending on this calibration. Even in places where calibration is required, the standard deviation is typically high and negates the requirement.
Human error, either intentional, or unintentional, can affect "professional" lab results. A sample may have a significantly higher percentage of trichomes than usual.
Time of testing. A sample that was tested at harvest, has cured (decarbed) over time and now has a different cannabinoid profile. A clone has matured and, depending on growing conditions, now has a different cannabinoid profile.
Using Mini Cannalab will give any tester a better understanding of what is happening with their product. When choosing a testing facility, it is best to use the same one for all samples making sure the calibration has not changed over time.
What is "decarb" and why do I need to do this?
(see page) Decarboxylation is the process of heating cannabis or hemp, to "activate" it. Decarbing a sample before testing a sample provides clearer results. However, the sample can also be decarbed on the plate. If using a "raw" sample, follow all instructions until Step 7. After placing the sample on the glass plate, being careful not to scratch the front of the plate, hold a lighter under the dots on the back of the plate (glass side) for 10 seconds. ALLOW TO COOL FOR 10 MINUTES. This process decarbs the sample in the same way lighting cannabis to inhale does.