Moisture Analysis in Cannabis – How the Standard Method Leads to Inflated Potencies



October 26, 2022

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  • Testing laboratories have found several ways to inflate potency results in manners that could be deemed kosher practices. The most common being that dry weight corrections are applied to the result. The major pitfall with using moisture corrections for potency results, is that the standard method in the industry is not a true representation of the moisture in cannabis flower. Currently, moisture is determined using a moisture balance which calculates the result through the amount of weight lost during drying. The issue with this analysis is that in order to remove the water, the sample must be heated to at least 100°C. When doing this, the cannabinoids present in the sample begin to decarboxylate and terpenes are volatilized. In order to combat this issue and provide more accurate results to clients, our laboratory has validated an alternative method for measuring the moisture content in cannabis flower. Moisture corrections for potency are not necessary, however, if they are used, it must be done in a manner that does not erroneously inflate the results.

    Analytical TechniquesCannabis ScienceChromatographyFood and Beverage

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