Cannabis Popularity Soars Along With Tests To Detect It

The Duquenois Levine Test is used in the field by law enforcement officers to test for THC presence in a suspected sample. The problem with this test is that it is simply a color change test for THC which can be triggered by trace amounts of THC like in hemp which is legally allowed to contain up to 0.3% THC in it – leading to the wrongful arrests of law-abiding citizens. The Purdue Research Foundation would like for officers to switch to its patent-pending solution which determines an exact amount of THC in a sample rather than a yes/no indication. Since hemp is now federally legal, a switch to a test like Purdue’s is in order.

The Purdue Research Foundation’s pending patent uses spectroscopy to indicate how much delta-9-THC is in a sample. The test would require officers to carry a spectrophotometer as well as chemicals required to perform the test and have a way to warm the sample to speed its reaction with the test chemicals. Essentially, what happens in a spectroscopy test is that the target molecule – delta-9-THC in this case – reacts with the test chemicals, creating what is known as a chromophore, or simply a molecule that causes a color, which is quantified by its absorption of light at a certain wavelength when light is directed at it. The absorption quantification can then be used in the Beer-Lambert Law – a simple equation linearly relating absorbance to concentration – to quantify the amount of delta-9-THC in a sample.

Cannabinoid analysis, specifically THC quantification, is a quickly growing field within the cannabis sector and has attracted many including Green Ocean SciencesLightwave ScienceVerifood, and The University of Kentucky Research Foundation. If any of these companies or foundations would like to dominate in this field, they will have to further their stance by staking their claims with more patent assets. Currently, Lightwave Science and Verifood lead the way with 3 and 6 patent assets, respectively, dealing with the quantification of THC in a sample. The Purdue Research Foundation will need to step up its patenting pursuit if it wants law enforcement officers to utilize its invention over the rest as they’ll know it is patent protected.

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