Sample preparation devices for cannabis plants and edibles testing

An initial and important stage in cannabis testing is plant grinding and homogenization. The yield of the subsequent extraction and downstream analytical steps depends on complete and precise raw material preparation. Many types and models of devices are used in various applications specific to the source material and scale.

As an example of the latest technology, SPEX SamplePrep® has deployed a series of devices for cannabis plant homogenization and edible cryogenic milling, with the goal to provide the best tools for safe product generation.

In the area of plant tissue homogenization, the 2010 Geno/Grinder® is a high throughput solution that uses a vertical grinding motion for increased recovery and consistent results. An adjustable clamp accommodates 6 deep-well titer plates and 16 centrifuge tubes. The Geno/Grinder can be used in concert with any pesticide and DNA extraction kit, and any plant or edible processing application, thereby adding significant versatility to the device. Applications include: THC extraction, pesticide residue extraction, DNA extraction, terpene profiling, and QuEChERS – the preferred method for pesticide residue analysis.

The 1600 MiniG® is a solution for labs in which a small but powerful homogenizer is best suited. This mechanical disruptor works by oscillating one or two deep-well titer plates vertically. A clamp holds up to (6) 50mL vials, (48) 2mL vials, or (24) 5mL vials in place. SPEX Kryotech® accessories can preserve temperature sensitive compounds found in cannabis leaves, and the extraction applications of the MiniG range as those listed above.

The Freezer/Mill® is a cryogenic grinder that is programmable and powerful. The device cools cannabis samples to cryogenic temperatures prior to pulverizing using a magnetic steel impactor and stationary end plugs. This mill is compatible with all types of cannabis plant material and edible products. A series of devices to suit different levels of sample throughput are offered, including the 6775 for up to 5 grams of material, the 6875 up to 100 g, and the 6875D up to 200 g.

The SPEX SamplePrep 8000 series and 5100 Mixer/Mills are designed to pulverize small amounts of dry brittle materials, such as dried cannabis leaves, to analytical fineness.

Extraction is a critical process in the analysis of not only bioactive compounds and pesticide residues in plant source material, but also the possible presence of these and other substances in processed cannabis edibles. The latest technologies, such as the Canna-Prep line of instruments mentioned here, provide cannabis processing ability and compatibility with various subsequent extraction kits, making them a key fit for analytical labs, large and small.