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.

Cannabis Test Finger Print

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 cannabis test

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


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.

THC Calibration Chart & TLC plate results. Use the calibration charts from the kit for proper reference.


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® 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.

32 thoughts on “How it works

  1. Pingback: Is CBD present when Tricomes are Clear? - Page 2 - MNS Forums

  2. kim bercet says:

    Hello Vince,

    Exactly, it is made for people to do their own cannabinoid testing (there are so many brands that cheat on %). Also, some companies and social clubs use it, you get a result fast, it’s cheaper than laboratory testing and you can do it yourself. The results have 2-points margin of error. Let us know if you need any information, we remain available.
    Best regards,

    Team Alpha-CAT

  3. shriram says:

    I have purchased your mini kit and then a refill kist as well. I need to know: Does the percentage % shown mean that the extract oil contains that much QUANTITY of the cannabinoid? Example: if THC shows 50% and CBD 12%, then does it mean in a 1gram sample, 500mg is THC and 12% is CBD and so on?

  4. kim bercet says:


    Our testing method allows you to measure the concentration of the 6 main cannabinoids and their acid forms with a 2-point margin of error. If you are looking for a 0.1% precision, you should send your sample to a specialized laboratory. We provide a personal training with our mobile lab allowing you to be certified and legitimate.

    We remain available if you need more information.

    Best regards,
    Team Alpha-CAT

  5. kim bercet says:


    Exactly, if those are your results, so in 1 gram you have 500 mg THC (50%) and 120 mg CBD (12%). Let us know if you need any other information, we remain available.

    Have a nice day.
    Best regards,
    Team Alpha-CAT

  6. Mackenzie Iwamoto says:

    Could you supply MSDS forms for all the chemicals you use in your kits.

    Thank you,

    Mackenzie Iwamoto

  7. kim bercet says:

    Dear Mackenzie,

    We send a user manual with our test kits, where you can find precautions for use, method of use and all the details needed. The manual is also available online (PDF version). Would you be interested in buying one of our test kits ?
    Let us know if you need any information or if you have any questions.

    Have a nice day.
    Kind regards,

    Team Alpha-CAT

  8. Bo Bervig says:

    I’d like to ask about the illustration of the THC Calibration Chart & TLC plate results.
    In your example, what is the content of THC? I cannot place the stick result to the calibration line.

  9. Phil Jones says:

    Hi there, does your testing kit deliver results above what is shown on the scale?
    For example your chart goes up to 20% THC, but I would like to check for results up to 65%.
    Or do you provide another testing kit that does this?
    I am currently fighting terminal lung cancer and have been recommended to use oil with THC at 55%-65%
    Can you help?
    Thanks in advance for any help

  10. Kevin says:

    Are you able to determine cannabinoid (CBD/THC) profile from a plant in vegetative state? How far along does the plant need to be to determine the CBD/THC profile? If so, this will be a great tool for breeding.

  11. Kelly Eds says:

    Could this testing be used to test cbd content in Urine. There is a NEW (Feb 2019) Militry directive specifically banning ALL CBD, and ALL hemp products, including foods. It indicates they specifically test for cbd’s. (Former concern was slight amounts of THC from CBD, but this test does test for THC and CBD. I’m a massage therapist makes as salve using thc free hemp cbd isolate. I have military clients that are no longer allowed to use it.

    I’m also interested in having my final product tested to indictate quality.

  12. Katie says:

    I want to test some cbd oil I have recently purchased but I don’t want to spend more money testing it. How much is your cheapest kit available to test one product at home please

  13. Andreas says:


    could you be so kind an help me out? Can you explain on what it depends if with the regular kit I can analyze 10 or 40 tests?


  14. Jean Baptiste Vergnaud says:

    Hi, yes we delivery all over Europe.
    When selecting your order, Shipping price will appear.

  15. Laurie Hamilton says:

    How many tests does the small kit do and are there refills or do i ha.ve to keep buying a kit when i run out.

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