How accurate is the Alpha-cat TLC method?

The Thin Layer Cromatography method used by Alpha-cat is reliable and standardized within +/- 1,00% deviation.

Therefore our kit has been commercialized worldwide, with an exponentially growing interest. We are glad to hear that our test kits help so many people in their daily lives, whether it is for personal use as a patient, or for industrial use as a manufacturer who integrates it for its internal quality control during the processing cycle of a cannabinoids based product.


alphaCAT VS CANNA Fundacion
Comparative study for the quantification of THC, CBD and CBN using Alpha-cat TLC method and GC-FID

Comparative study for the quantification of THC, CBD and CBN using Alpha-cat TLC method and GC-FID

Comparative study between Thin Layer Chromatography and Gas Chromatography – Flame Ionization Detector (TLC VS GC-FID)

This was the first straight forward comparative study between GC-FID and the TLC Alpha-cat’s protocol.

Here below is a review of the blind comparative study based on 3 samples with different cannabinoid profile. The study was done by using the GC-FID apparatus, at Fundación CANNA, and Alpha-cat TLC kit. The aim was to look at the quantification of THC, CBD and CBN. Please find the full version on the Fundación CANNA website: Comparative study for the quantification of THC, CBD and other main cannabinoids group.

As a conclusion, the study said that:

Alpha-cat’s testing method has shown to be a valid qualitative tool for cannabinoid detection and gives reproducible results. However, only technicians well trained with Alpha-cat’s kit method can obtain semi-quantitative results by using the Alpha-cat cannabinoid rulers. Gas or Liquid chromatographic analysis need to be used to quantify precisely cannabinoids, and other important secondary active compounds present in Cannabis.
Fundación CANNA

 GC-FID - TLC Alpha-cat

Blind Test GC-FID – TLC Alpha-cat

Notice that the conclusion indicates that these tests were made by untrained people to the TLC method, which can increase the margin error of the test results. That’s why if you are a professional you should be certified by receiving our special training for you and your team.


"A qualitative and quantitative HPTLC densitometry method for the analysis of cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa L."

Cannabis and cannabinoid-based medicines are currently under serious investigation for legitimate development as medicinal agents, necessitating new low-cost, high-throughput analytical methods for quality control.

Objective / Goal:

The goal of the study was to develop and validate, according to ICH guidelines, a simple rapid HPTLC method for the quantification of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) and qualitative analysis of other main neutral cannabinoids found in cannabis.


The method was developed and validated with the use of pure cannabinoid reference standards and two medicinal cannabis cultivars. Accuracy was determined by comparing results obtained from the HTPLC method with those obtained from a validated HPLC method.


Delta(9)-THC gives linear calibration curves in the range of 50-500 ng at 206 nm with a linear regression of y = 11.858x + 125.99 and r(2) = 0.9968.


Results have shown that the HPTLC method is reproducible and accurate for the quantification of delta(9)-THC and CBD in cannabis-derivated. The method is useful for the qualitative screening and quantitative estimation for the main neutral cannabinoids found in cannabis cultivars.

See the publication on the Unbound Medical website

Or direct link to the publication: by Justin T. Fischedick, Ronald Glas, Arno Hazekamp, Rob Verpoorte.


The Alpha-cat everyday experience

alpha CAT Every day experience

We are learning every day from our customers and the generous feedback we have permits us to improve our products. That’s why we are always available for support & discussion with our customers at Don’t hesitate to contact us.

The method is strong enough to cover many uses: Medical (Medicinal Cannabis), Industrial (Hemp) or recreational / adult-use (Regulated Marijuana).



Why using the TLC method compare to other methodologies?

  • A wide variety of methodologies have been recommended for the determination of marijuana samples or Cannabis plants: Thin layer Chromatography (TLC), Optimum Performance Laminar Chromatography (OPLC), High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Gas Chromatography (GC) with Mass Spectrometry (MS), capillary electro-chromatography, time-resolved fluoro-immunological method, immunoassay, etc… Most of these techniques require heavy and costly instruments and a lot of time (Galand et al, 2004).
  • It is mandatory to ensure traceability in production. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and food companies that adhere do not test medical Cannabis raw materials or provide cannabinoids dosage information of derived products, leaving patients in the dark about what they’re inhaling or ingesting. (Steve Kilts, 2012).
  • Semi-quantification by densitometry with TLC analysis methods have been performed (Fischedick et al, 2009).
  • TLC can be the method of choice if the target is to carry on a big number of samples in a rapid, visual and simultaneous. Unlike the comparison of two samples in order to assess whether they are the same (or different), when quantitative analysis is essential, assessment of origin is qualitative, since the sample under study and the reference samples are, in fact, different. There is thus little point in using more powerful techniques such as
    HPLC as the quantitative information provided is likely to confuse the picture (Baker et al, 1980).
  • TLC is a low-cost method for cannabinoid analysis and approved by the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) for Cannabis routine control of cannabinoid content and of Cannabis origin (Laboratory and Scientific Section UNODC, 2009).