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 represent 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)
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 indication of strength and potency
- Chemotype / cannabinoid profile which categorizes the strain
- Chemotype-effect chart indicateing 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).
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.
THC effects are dominant over indica effects (activating, energizing)
CBG, THCV & CBD effects predominate producing a feeling of relaxation (stoney, sleepy)
- Alpha-CAT® 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:
To handle with care
To protect your skin, always wear gloves
To avoid contamination of the TLC-plates
Not to be inhaled
Before conducting experiments, read the manual carefully! Contact us if you have any questions.