GenTech Company News Banner

The Role of Mass Spectrometry in Cannabis Analysis

Gen Tech Scientific on February 26,2021

Scientific processes like mass spectrometry work in both academic and business settings. The cannabis industry relies on tools such as mass spectrometry to ensure they produce and distribute safe and clean products. Without such equipment, many people could ingest harmful pesticides or contaminants. Here is more on the role of mass spectrometry in cannabis analysis.

What Is Mass Spectrometry?

Mass spectrometry may sound like futuristic sci-fi technology, but it is a method that has been around since the late 1800s. Mass spectrometers measure the mass to charge ratio in a given sample. They can calculate exact molecular weight, identify unknown compounds, and quantify known ones. Mass spectrometers then represent this information in graphs that scientists use to determine the chemical makeup of samples.

Why Is It Relevant To Cannabis?

Regardless of how users intake cannabis, whatever is in the product will enter a person's bloodstream. So, if there are harmful pesticides or heavy metals, people will ingest them as well. Mass spectrometry is one of the most important and reliable methods for testing the safety of cannabis before people use it. By analyzing the ions of each particle type in the cannabis sample, scientists can determine the presence and amount of each compound.

How Do Scientists Conduct These Tests?

Each state in the United States regulates cannabis on its own terms. Though there are some centralized testing standards, the specifics are up to state jurisdiction. So, the exact tests scientists conduct and the contaminants they must test for will vary. However, the way they use mass spectrometry does not. One of the most efficient machines for this analysis is a mass spectrometer gas analyzer like those we have at GenTech Scientific.

The process begins with the ionization of the gas particles from the cannabis. From there, specific lenses and apparatuses focus and accelerate the ion's movement. They are then filtered and detected to create a spectrum that scientists can read. Once they have all the data, they can determine the presence of harmful substances in the cannabis and make judgments about the product's safety.

One cannot understate the role of mass spectrometry in cannabis analysis. As one of the primary testing options available for cannabis, mass spectrometry is a tried and true method for delivering a safe product to the masses.