Potency and THC: Types and Testing
THC potency testing is required wherever cannabis is legal, but it isn’t the only reason you should have your products tested. (And yes, accuracy is the key word, here.) Let’s dive into THC and potency testing, and what you should look for in a good testing laboratory.
Types of THC
Scientists are working hard to identify all the cannabinoids present in cannabis (currently at over 100), and THC is by far the most well-known. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical that gives you a “high” feeling, while also providing therapeutic benefits. There are currently four known types of THC, each with their own properties.
THCA is the “parent” of the other three types of THC and is the only one that does not have psychoactive properties. It is only after heat and light are applied to THCA that its shape and chemical structure change into one of the three variations described below. This transformation is decarboxylation and happens through smoking, vaping, or cooking (for example).
THCA appears to have therapeutic benefits even at very low doses, making accurate potency testing important. Too much is not always better! In one recent study of epilepsy treatments, patients found relief with THCA doses 10-100x lower than CBD-sublingual spray, Epidiolex.
More commonly known as “THC”, Delta-9 THC is the most well-known by-product of THCA. It creates a high and is the chemical that consumers and governing bodies want to know about.
Studies of delta-9 THC’s therapeutic benefits are extensive and go back as far as the 1940s for epilepsy relief. Some of THC’s benefits include sleep help, pain relief, PTSD treatment, and anti-inflammation.
Delta-8 THC exists when Delta-9 THC ages and oxidizes. It is less potent than Delta-9 THC, with less of a “high.” Unfortunately, Delta-8 is only found at about 1% concentration in dried flowers. It must be specially extracted and processed, so it is tough to come by.
Delta-8 THC’s therapeutic benefits are similar to Delta-9’s, though without the anxiety that sometimes accompanies the more common THC.
This third by-product of THCA doesn’t have psychoactive properties in low doses, unlike its Delta siblings. On the flipside, taken in large doses, THCV will give you a much faster, intense, yet shorter-lived high.
THCV has many known therapeutic benefits of its own. It may suppress appetite, reduce anxiety, and reduce ALS and Parkinson’s tremors.
While all forms of THC have benefits, they affect every person in a different way. Consumers and medical professionals make better decisions when they know the dosing details. Quality THC potency testing is essential to providing the best products to consumers.
Benefits of THC Potency Testing
With the legalization of cannabis, consumers want to know they are getting what they pay for. They want consistent, predictable results, and potency testing gives them peace of mind. We test the potency levels of thirteen cannabinoids in our standard profile. That includes all four THC varieties. This analysis helps consumers make the best choice. It also allows you to give your customers a more personalized experience.
Testing for THC potency is essential to stay in compliance with existing laws. But, as the science and industry grow, there are sure to be more regulations in the future. Product adjustments will be easier when you have an extensive testing history.
Quality Testing Methods
Accuracy in THC potency testing is critical. It helps predict the benefits of products, and differentiates between strains. Reliable testing methods performed by professionals in a controlled environment ensure quality results.
PureLabs has developed certification procedures for all areas of their lab. Our laboratory meets current Good Manufacturing Practices, and we plan to be ISO/IEC 17025 Certified within one year. We take pride in providing consistent, accurate results that you can rely on, every time you test.
PureLabs cannabis potency testing uses a High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analytical machine. HPLC doesn’t heat samples, allowing the detection of THCA and CBDA (the CBD precursor). This comprehensive THC and CBD analysis is more accurate than gas chromatography (GC).
Accurate THC potency testing should be done by professionals in controlled environments, using scientific methods. No at-home test can detect the potency of 13 different cannabinoids with reliability.
When it comes to regulation compliance, satisfied customers, and superior products, you need PureLabs. Our cannabis testing laboratory provides the most accurate, expedited, and consistent laboratory service.