Cannabis potency is the #1 reason for compliance and regulatory failures in the cannabis and hemp industries. [1,2] So having a way to test cannabis potency is crucial. But not just test it, test it accurately (otherwise what’s the point, right?). The go-to for accuracy across the industry is a lab-grade High Performance Liquid Chromatography machine, or HPLC. Unfortunately, the ticket price of an HPLC machine is about $50,000, they’re the size of a refrigerator, and require a specialist to run a test. In other words, far from ideal for the average user who wants to quickly test potency. So we decided to pit our small but mighty $279.99 handheld tCheck device against this lab-grade, second-mortgage requiring behemoth to see how well our far more convenient alternative for potency testers would stack up. But first…
tCheck was originally designed to help edible makers measure the potency of their infused oils, but the second generation device added the ability to measure the potency of dry herb material and concentrate.
So in this test we compared tCheck’s dry herb measurements against the dry herb measurements of a lab-grade HPLC machine.
Here Comes the Science!
This is a legit test, not something we just slapped together over a lazy weekend of CBD infused icing covered bacon. So pardon me while I talk all sciency for a second.
For the purpose of this test, hemp will be defined as any variety of cannabis sativa that is dominant in CBDa while marijuana shall be defined as any variety of cannabis sativa that is dominant in THCa. So first, we created a test sample of each sample by taking 2oz of dry herb of that sample and grinding and mixing it to ensure homogeneity. And then part of each of those samples was sent to an ISO accredited Northern California lab to be tested on their HPLC machine. And part of each of those samples was prepped per tCheck instructions to be tested on several tCheck devices randomly pulled from the production line. Andddddd, drum roll.
The x-axis represents results as reported by the lab while the y-axis represents tCheck’s measured potency. Each dot represents a measurement sample. The thick middle line represents the “perfect” correlation between tCheck’s measurements and the HPLC. The upper dotted green line represents a +3 percentage point variance while the lower dark blue dotted line represents a -3 percentage point variance.
As you can see, for over 90% of the samples tested, tCheck’s measurements were within 3 percentage points of HPLC’s measurements. Which, considering tCheck costs approximately 0.6% of the price of the industry “go-to” for potency testing is pretty freakin’ amazing. So if you want to accurately test the potency of your herb but don’t have a spare empty closet at home and 50Gs burning a hole in your pocket, we think you’ll agree tCheck makes an amazing, reasonably priced (not to mention portable) alternative.