What is Alpha-cat?

Alpha-cat is a Cannabinoid Analysis Tool which combines the simple analytical technique of thin-layer chromatography (TLC) with specific thin-layers and developing fluid. Thanks to this new protocol the main active ingredients of the cannabis plant parts can be visualised due to a highly specific colouring reaction which represents the cannabinoids present in the sample of cannabis or cannabis product. Alpha-cat‘s method enables the detection and identification of six (6) of the main cannabinoids present in cannabis:

  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)

Alphacat Test
A minimal amount of material (0.1 gram) is needed per sample to provide a unique and effective way of analysing the cannabinoid profile in various mixtures such as plant parts of cannabis, trichome resins, oils, tinctures and edibles products (ice-creams, cookies, teas…). Alpha-cat helps you to assess the effect of any specific strain with:

  • A THC and CBD reference chart for an indication of strength and potency
  • Chemotype/cannabinoid profile which categorizes the strain
  • Chemotype-effect chart indicating the  pharmacological effect to be expected
  • A symptom-cure guide helping to determine which strain best helps to alleviate specific symptoms.

The Alpha-cat Test Kits

MINI Kit Alpha-cat 2 plates Number of tests*: – THC & CBD analysis: 8 – Chemotype prints: 2

REGULAR Kit Alpha-cat 10 plates Number of tests*: – THC & CBD analysis: 40 – Chemotype prints: 10

MOBILE LAB Alpha-cat 100 plates Number of tests*: – CBD, CBN, THC, THCV, CBC, CBG analysis: 400 – Chemotype prints: 100

*Each TLC plate allows for testing 4 lanes. A full analysis uses all 4 lanes for 1 strain. To get a chemotype print of your strain, 1 line is sufficient: 4 strains can, therefore, be analysed on 1 TLC plate.

The following should be supplied by the user

  • Samples of cannabis or cannabis products (e.g. cookies, ice, cake, etc.)
  • A well-ventilated working area (a fume hood connected to a filtering system is recommended)
  • Digital weighing scale

alpha-cat Testing Protocol

The Alpha-cat system solves the issues involved with simultaneously separating cannabinoids in a simple, cost-effective way, providing a chemical profile for each sample. The Alpha-cat method separates some of the neutral and acidic cannabinoids which are rendered distinct from each other with bright colored spots.

The chemotype profile shows the number of cannabinoids and their relative concentrations. The higher the concentration the bigger and more intensely coloured the spot is.

Alpha-cat gives the opportunity to determine the cannabinoids present in each material sample and reveals the levels of each individual cannabinoid present in terms of its concentration.

The Alpha-cat method enables anyone, regardless of scientific background, to define the active cannabinoid profile in a wide range of medicinal materials (flowers, resins, concentrates, cosmetics, tinctures, edibles and most other cannabinoid containing products).

Different types of samples, from cannabinoid herbal based to other cannabinoid derivates (left to right: Bedica®, Bedrocan®, tincture, flower, resin "haschich")
Different types of samples, from cannabinoid herbal-based to other cannabinoid derivates (left to right: Bedica®, Bedrocan®, tincture, flower, resin “hashish”)

How to analyse the results

After colouring the TLC plate by dipping it in a dye solution colored spots will appear immediately. The number of different spots depends entirely on the plant used (genetics) and the environmental parameters during cultivation. The bigger the spot is, the higher is the concentration. The combination of different spots is called the chemotype of this particular plant (strain). Samples derived from it, such as the dried flowers, edibles, oils and hashish will differ somewhat in composition and won’t show the same cannabinoid profile (or print). Each colored spot on the plate represents a cannabinoid.

The combination of all cannabinoids present in a particular strain will be responsible for the pharmaceutical effects as well as the side-effects commonly reported and will range from an ultimate high feeling/experience (only THC present) to a heavy, “stoney”, “narcotic” sleep provoking strain with low THC when compared to its levels of CBD and CBG or with overall high levels of CBD and CBG. Small differences in cannabinoid levels of THCV, CBG and CBC between strains results in tremendous differences in perceived effect.

Safety Recommendation

  • Alpha-cat® Test Kits are fully compliant with the guidelines of the World Health Organisation concerning safety and quality of medical plant materials (WHO/PHARM/92.559).
  • Our methods meet the guidelines and recommendations of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Codex Alimentarius.
  • All of our kits comply fully with Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) guidelines.

Alpha-cat’s kits contains bottles of chlorinated hydrocarbons, labelled as hazardous and the following precautions should be observed at all times:

Before conducting experiments, read the manual carefully! Contact us if you have any questions.

23 thoughts on “How it works

    • Jack says:

      Hello Melissa. Sorry for the late reply. Yes you can directly print your results through our app: app.alpha-cat.org. 🙂 I stay available if you have any other questions. Best regards.

  1. gary sanders says:

    Hi, Can you please tell if the testing kits test over 20% please? As in the picture it only show up to 20%. Any reply would be greatful. Thanks in advance Gary Sanders

    • Jack says:

      Hello Gary. Sorry for our late reply. Sure you can mostly test everything that contains cannabinoids with alpha-CAT test kit, even concentrate & oil. You just need to make simple calculation to apply a slightly different procedure as describe in this link:


      Ex: For oil & concentrate, we recommend to use 40 mg of sample with 1 uL of our test fluid before applying on the plates and multiply the result given by our ruler by 5. Be sure to have a proper scale that can be able to measure with a high precision to weight a minimum of 1mg (0.001g). All our kits come with all components and a manual.You can detect the main 6 cannabinoids and you will have calibration charts needed to quantify CBD and THC.To begin, you can purchase a MINI kit, this will perform up to 8 tests.


      Or you can purchase a REGULAR kit, with which you can carry out up to 40 tests.


      If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
      Kind regards.

  2. Bine says:

    Dear personal , we will like to know if is posibile to mesured if thc is below 0,2 … we nead to chec our field if thc goes over 0,2 %

    many thanx for reply


    • Sebastien says:

      Dear Mike

      Yes ! you can test your cannabinoids alcohol-based tincture. For further questions, don’t hesitate to write us directly to our email info(a)alpha-cat.org

  3. David Sidlin says:

    How do I test infused oil? Do I use the same quantity (100mg)? I assume it needs to be a solid when the test begins? Are there more detailed directions other than the pamphlet that came in the mini kit?

    • Sebastien says:

      Dear David
      Thanks for your comment, you can test infused oil by weighting 100mg, you can do that by calibrating your scale at 0 with an empty test tube then add the infused oil until you reach 100mg. In addition to our manual inside the test kit, we also have a youtube tutorial video, see link below

  4. David Sidlin says:

    How long can I leave a sample on the test plate before heating? If I want to test 4 strains it will take a number of mins to submerge samples, shake, wait 2 mins and apply to test plate. Will it skew the results if samples remain on the plate for different periods of time prior to heating?

    • Sebastien says:

      Before heating, you can leave the sample on the test plate for 10 to 20 minutes, as long as you have placed the test plate in a secure zone away from possible contamination. It will not affect the results if you place each sample on the test plate at different times. But we commend you to prepare all your samples with test fluid first and then proceed with applying the samples on the test plate.

  5. CBD BUDS says:


    CBD hemp flower buds are the flower of females and, they are helpful to plants contain high CBD and low level of THC.

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