New Tool Distinguishes Hemp From Controlled Cannabis

Lisa Rennie
Written by Lisa Rennie

After the recently-passed 2018 Farm Bill removing hemp from the list of controlled substances and state after state legalizing cannabis – whether recreationally, medically, or both – some issues have arisen for law enforcement, hemp farmers, laboratories, and citizens who consume cannabis products.

As such, this can cause some confusion when it comes to distinguishing between hemp and controlled cannabis.

In an effort to clear up this confusion, biotechnology firm Hemp Synergistics has partnered up with scientists at Purdue University Northwest to come up with the “THC Rapid Field Test Kit,” a tool that will help law enforcement distinguish hemp from controlled cannabis in a matter of minutes.

Having a tool like this will give law enforcement officers the opportunity to quickly determine the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in an individual’s system. Not only will this help to save on resources needed to make this detection, but it will also allow citizens to retain their freedoms and make the job of hemp farmers easier by quickly testing the THC content of their plants.

Right now, law enforcement must investigate anything that is classified as a controlled substance, including cannabis, forcing these professionals to have to make a quick distinction between cannabis and hemp. Both are the same plant that are distinguished by how much THC is contained within them, and measuring these levels is expensive, cumbersome, and time-consuming to analyze.

Not only is this a nuisance for law enforcement, but it can also overwhelm national labs. The issue can also make things more difficult for hemp farmers to accurately assess how close their products are to the legal limit of THC.

But with the emergence of the new tool developed by scientists from Hemp Synergistics and Purdue University, much time, money, and hassle can be saved with on-the-spot differentiation between hemp and cannabis. No longer will there be a need to have to send a sample to a lab and wait weeks or months for a result.

Instead, results can be obtained in five minutes with great accuracy. Hemp farmers can quickly determine THC levels in their products, and national labs won’t be bombarded with samples to test.

While the tool is not intended to replace forensic laboratory testing, it’s designed to provide a means of testing quickly on the field to obtain an accurate result that can identify whether a product may or may not have to be sent for further testing.

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Lisa Rennie

Lisa Rennie

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