Most of the traditional methodologies for the determination of cannabinoids are based on solvent extraction, filtration, and concentration. These techniques are cumbersome, time-consuming, and suffer from analyst-to-analyst variability while producing data of limited value.
As the demand for the analysis of cannabinoids increases, it is imperative that the day-to-day analytical protocols be reproducible, accurate and efficient. Many laboratories routinely “screen” each sample in order to quickly determine the potential for matrix interference and instrument contamination while providing an estimate of the target compound’s concentration. A good “screening” method is simple (i.e., minimal or no sample preparation), fast and semi-quantitative.
One of the most widely used analytical techniques for “screening” is Thermal Desorption-GC/MS (TD-GC/MS). This technique does not require any of the traditional solvent extraction or sample pretreatment. Milligram quantities are put in an inert sample cup which is then ‘ready to analyze’. This technique is performed by the multi-mode Pyrolyzer with a vertical micro-furnace design that allows programmable and multiple thermal desorption analysis on a single sample.
Thermal desorption analysis eliminates conventional sample prep regimes; the sample is heated to the point that the cannabinoids desorb from the edible matrix (thermal extraction). It is fast, uses minimal or no solvent, and eliminates the need for expensive glassware. TD-GC/MS is a “volatiles only” analysis; high boiling sample constituents remain in the sample cup which eliminates system contamination, increases system stability and reduces run-to-run analysis time.
The Multi-Mode Pyrolyzer provides the users with multiple modes of operations and techniques. Evolved Gas Analysis (EGA) is another technique that can be performed as the rapid screening of evolved gases and identifying the optimal thermal desorption temperature zone(s).