Cannabinoid Concentration in Plants and Oils

Members of ASTM International’s cannabis committee (D37) have proposed a standard aimed at more quickly determining cannabinoid concentrations (e.g., THC, CBD) in plant material and extracted oils (WK68574).

The test leverages an established, widely accepted technique called near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) that has been used to test chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and food. NIRcould help measure or screen cannabinoid concentrations directly from the plant material greater than 0.1%. When used in conjunction with primary techniques, this approach could determine potency in a matter of seconds allowing greater data acquisition throughout the processing workflow, according to ASTM International member Tyson Rowland.

 “This standard could help cannabis farmers, processing labs, and regulators quickly and accurately test cannabinoid concentrations to help ensure quality and compliance,” says Rowland, a NIR Product Specialist at BUCHI Corporation.

“Quality assurance is becoming more and more important as the market grows and as processors start diversifying their incoming material sources,” Rowland says. “Acquiring quality data is one thing but acquiring quality data with enough speed to keep up with the demand of production labs is another.  NIR is a technology that can help labs achieve both.”

Watch this video for more information on ASTM International’s cannabis committee.

Become a member of ASTM. The next meeting of the ASTM International committee on cannabis is February 22, 2020, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Georgia, USA. If interested in helping develop this standard, please contact Tyson Rowland at

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