Analyzing Cannabinoid Profiles with Mini Canna Lab

The other day, Catherine (an amazing 75 year old cultivator!) emailed me with some questions and photos of her most recent harvest profiles. Some of the results were not clear to her, and we discussed a few analyzing techniques to clarify her results.


Here is part of our conversation:


Hi Angie,


I am finished with all the tests. I am assuming that the most prominent readings to the last two slides shows high in CBD because of the position on the slide that matches up with all the other slides. How do I measure the cannabinoids below since it doesn’t really have a concentrated shape. # 7 is Hawaiian Dream, #8 is Harlequin. # 9 is Charlotte web, from Seed Bank. #10 is AC/DC from a different Seed Bank. The last two slides are still drying but, I think I got good test slides. Your thoughts?



Hi Catherine,


#1-6 are clear to me. #7-10 I would like to see the dried plates but I think you should use one more plate to test #7 and #6 together on the same plate. Even though the large dots line up, the smaller ones are a little off and it seems like there is not as much space between the purple and the large as there is in #1-2. I can't quite tell the color of the large dot in the last 2 plates. But you can see in the first 3 plates the slight color difference between the THC and CBD dots. The THC is slightly more purpley (word?). I can't quite tell the color difference in the last 2. So if this were me testing I would take a known, #5 or 6 because they have clear amounts of both, and a questionable one, #7 (or #8 #9 or #10 since each plate has the same profiles) to compare and verify on the same plate. That will give you a clear answer.


Hi Angie,


Here is the new test (in the middle) It is much clearer now that I am comparing it with # 6 Bertha’s Best, which is the Sisters of the Valley source seed. # 7 is Hawaiian dream, so we can conclude there is a very robust presence of THC. Maybe 16% or so and what would you say on CBD? It is so light, maybe 2-3 % at most. That 3rd slide is Hawaiian Dream and Harlequin, so, they are both pretty high in ThC and fairly low in CBD, not at all what the Seed Bank claims the profile should be. Your thoughts?




Hi Catherine,


Yes agree this makes it very clear. The CBD on #7 in the middle is pretty fuzzy in this photo for me, it has less than 1% since it is so light. If it were a percent it would be much darker and very defined. (Unless it dried darker. ) I will try to find an example for you. So you can confirm that both #7 and #8 have high THC and I would guess #9 and #10 on might be the same. If you still question it do the same of test with the #6 and #9. I am guessing #9 and #10 are also high THC but doing another comparing test will confirm.


This is a great example of how to use the test to show clearly that a strain that is expected to have a certain profile can cause one to question the results. And then performing another test will make the results clearer and remove any question about the profile. There are still the nuances of analyzing the light, wide circle and the dark, defined circle. Here is an example of what a 1% or 2% might look like.



These are all oils. The middle sample top circle is 3% CBD and the bottom circle is 1% THC . You can see how it is small, dark, and well defined compared to #7 and #8 in Catherine's samples above that are faint and blurry. When a THC or CBD circle is faint and blurry they are less than 1%. All of the other cannabinoids are typically less than 1 % in a dominant THC or CBD strain. Currently there is no percentage chart for those cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, THCA) but the darker and more defined the circle, the more there is. Next week I will talk about analyzing CBG dominant strains.