The Denver Police Department Crime Laboratory will develop a validated method of extraction and quantitation of THC for the most commonly encountered edible marijuana products. Because of efforts for the continued expansion of the legalization of Marijuana on the state level, the ability to quantitate THC concentration in infused and edible products is an essential service that many analytical forensic laboratories will be required to provide.
A number of extraction techniques will be examined for use. Under this proposal we plan on evaluating liquid/liquid, solid/liquid and QuEChERS extraction techniques. Several of the liquid/liquid and solid/liquid extraction, are routinely utilized in general analytical laboratories, while the QuEChERS technique (AOAC Official Method 2007.01) is a specialized food science extraction technique.
The extraction techniques employed will be optimized for use on a Gas Chromatograph (GC) with Flame Ionization Detector (FID). The development of quantitation methods will be focused on the five types of samples routinely submitted to the Denver Crime Laboratory. These types are: baked goods; chocolates; candies; tinctures; and beverages. One or more procedures will need to be developed to address the different materials. A minimum of three replicates for each control sample will be prepared by spiking with varying concentrations of THC standards into the selected matrices. The proposed amounts for each control will be between 1 mg and 100 mg per sample. Sensitivity and recovery for the methods will be evaluated using serial dilutions of control samples. Progressively reducing the amount of standard would permit a study of the lowest level of detection and will allow determination of the sensitivity for the method employed. Recovery rates will be determined by comparison of the percent of THC recovered to the total known amount of THC placed in the spiked control.
Project Goal: To develop a quick, safe, reliable and inexpensive technique for the quantitation of THC in infused products using a Gas Chromatograph with Flame Ionization Detector (FID).
The following objectives are proposed:
Objective 1. Identify best method for sample preparation for each of 5 types of food products currently encountered, including homogenization steps and the need and method of decarboxylation
Objective 2. Determine the best practice extraction technique (AOAC 2007.01, liquid/liquid or solid/liquid) for each for the 5 types of food products currently encountered
Objective 3. For each of the 5 sample types, determine extraction technique that will result in at least 80% recovery of THC with a goal of greater than 90%.
Objective 4. Create a standard operating procedure that is quick, safe, reliable which is low cost and a training program to be provided to public crime laboratories across the nation.