This final research report provides a summary of a two-part study for the classification of cannabis samples and the quantification of THC, with the overall goal of providing federal, state, and local forensic laboratories with simple, robust, and cost-effective analytical methods for the confident differentiation of hemp from marijuana in seized cannabis samples.
The author of this report discusses a two-part study with an overall goal of providing federal, state, and local forensic laboratories with analytical methods for the confident differentiation of hemp from marijuana in seized cannabis samples. The first part of the study focused on the sample preparation and quantitative approaches to the determination of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis samples, and the second part of the study focused on spectroscopic techniques offering rapid, field-deployable screening approaches for THC seized in cannabis samples. The five objectives of the research study were: the development of a quantitative ionization detector/gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (ID-GC-MS) methods for measuring total THC, to provide forensic laboratories the ability to confidently distinguish between hemp and marijuana; sample extraction and cleanup optimization, to help with accurate quantitation of total THC; ID-GC-MS validation study; evaluation of IR instrumentation, and the optimization of relevant instrument configuration and acquisition parameters; and technology transfer to forensic laboratories. The author lays out the research questions addressed by the study, research design, sample information, analytical instrumentation, expected applicability of the research, adaptations to the research plan, and outcomes and research limitations, as well as a list of artifacts produced as a result of the research study.
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