Cops confuse hemp with cannabis (THC) this laser tool can differentiate them, according to new study
A team of researchers has created a "hemp scanner" that can determine the THC level in cannabis plants instantly, without damaging the product. Of course hemp is the same as cannabis! What differentiates them is their THC or CBD content, one is prohibited, considered to be psychoactive, the other is still available over the counter. The common denominator between hemp and weed is the presence of THC. A team from the University of Texas A&M has developped one of the ways to diagnose using a portable spectrometer to distinguish cannabis from its non-psychoactive counterparts with 100% accuracy. This scanning technology can provide instant response!
Since industrial hemp became legal in the world, the police force has been bothering to try to understand the difference between this plant and its outlaw cousin, the cannabis Sativa L says weed. It is partly for this reason that hemp was initially placed under prohibition. At the time, legislators feared that people would use the appearance of a legitimate culture to get away with growing marijuana. Because, well, the two plants are basically the same. They are both similar in appearance and have the same odor. The difference is that hemp is defined as having less than 0,3% THC. This has caused a real storm, too, in states where hemp is legal.
The police unintentionally ended hemp operations by thinking that they were bringing down gangs of smugglers by searching stores, only to find out later that she had screwed up. This has led prosecutors across the country to start dismissing cases for possession of cbd. Indeed, without extensive and lengthy testing to determine the difference between hemp and marijuana, it is difficult to prove that an offender is actually breaking the law.
A team of scientists from Texas, a state that has experienced its share of mess due to legal hemp, believes they have found a solution to the problem. Researchers at Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences say they have a device that can eliminate all of the guesswork and laboratory problems associated with identifying hemp.
Using a portable Raman spectrometer for THC screening
It is a portable laser capable of determining with "100% accuracy" whether the suspect plant material is hemp or cannabis containing THC.
This tool essentially uses the same technology (Raman spectroscopy) that has been applied for years when farmers have to quickly test the plants to detect diseases and determine their nutritional value. In the case of hemp, the researchers say that the laser can light up the structures of plants (revealing the THCA content), which would make it possible to immediately show the police what version of the plant they are dealing with.
"A portable Raman spectrometer can be an ideal tool for police and hemp breeders to allow very precise diagnostics of the THCA content of plants," explain the researchers in the journal RSC Advances.
Currently, the only tool available to police to do their job is high pressure chromatography (HPLC). The only problem is that this test cannot be used in the field. Samples must be sent to a laboratory, a process that often sees drug cases dropped to the bottom of the list because analysts are usually too busy trying to help resolve a huge backlog of murder and murder cases. rape. Most Americans would not want it to be otherwise. After all, their tax dollars are at stake.
But most of all, these laboratory tests are a waste of money.
"These sophisticated tests are destructive, time consuming, and can only be done in certified laboratories," the researchers said at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "This significantly delays the time taken to analyze potential drug substances."
It is interesting to note that the device can also identify specific strains (and their quality) by measuring the THC content. A similar test allowing hemp growers to control the quality of CBD is also in preparation. Researchers believe that allowing farmers to see exactly how much CBD is in their crops will help them get a fair price when the time comes to market these plants.
"Our colleagues, the farmers, were positively surprised that we could identify the variety with 98% accuracy," said Dmitry Kurouski, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Texas A&M, at Science Daily. "It blew them away."
In conclusion, the results clearly demonstrate that the Raman spectroscopy can be used for confirmatory, non-invasive and non-destructive detection and identification of cannabis. We have shown that Raman spectroscopy allows a very precise differentiation between cannabis and hemp and the prediction of the cannabis variety. Due to the portable nature of our analysis, this spectroscopic approach will be of great benefit to the police and border control officers. Furthermore, these results demonstrate that RS can be an excellent tool for the cultivation and selection of hemp allowing precise detection of THCA levels in intact growing plants.
For now, the police will continue to fight. And unfortunately, this means that more people will be dragged to prison by mistake. Although this device may possibly make their task easier, more research is needed before this can be guaranteed. It may take another three years before these devices are mass produced. It is therefore to be expected that this problem will worsen before improving.