Cannalytics Supply
Cannalytics Supply

Technique

How does Cannalytics work?

fullfingerprintThin layer chromato-graphy  (TLC) is a chromatographic  technique that is used in many  (phyto) pharmaceutical and  analytical research laboratories for  the separation and identification by  colouring (chroma =Greek for  color) of organic compounds in a  mixture of hundreds of  compounds, like our cannabinoid  drop in this figure.

TLC is a simple, rapid and inexpensive technique that uses adsorbtion  and capillary action to separate complex mixtures into discrete zones.  TLC gives a quick answer as to how many components there are in a  mixture. TLC is also used  to support the identity of a compound in a  mixture when the Rf of a compound is compared with the Rf from the  literature (see table 1). In our case, the cannabinoids can be identified  by their specific color, specific location (Rf value) and order of  appearance on the TLC plate, if carried out with the solvent system  from the Kit.

A TLC plate is basically a sheet of glass which is coated with a thin  layer of a solid adsorbent silica. A small amount of the mixture to be  analysed is spotted near the bottom of this plate. The TLC plate is  then placed in a shallow pool of a solvent in a developing chamber so  that only the very bottom of the plate is in the liquid. This liquid (or  fluent or ‘carrier fluid’) is the mobile phase which slowly rises up the  TLC plate by capillary action.

As the solvent moves, it will pass the little spot of cannabinoid oil  micro droplet of 2 ul that was applied on the bottom of the plate. An  equilibrium is established for each component of the mixture between  the component’s molecules which are absorbed on the solid and the  molecules which are in solution. In principle, the components will differ  in solubility and in strength of their adsorption to the adsorbent. Other  components will be carried farther up to the plate than the others.

When the solvent has reached the top of the plate, the plate is  removed from the developing chamber and dried by ventilation for only  three minutes. After drying, the now separated components  (cannabinoids) in the silica layer will be visualized by spraying the plate  with a dye. The dye is highly specific for cannabinoids. Every principal  cannabinoid will display its own color! THC will appear in wine red,  CBG will show in bright yellow, CBD in orange, CBC in violet…etc.