Lab Testing Medical Marijuana

Photo - Medical Mariunana Lab Testing by Dr. Hornby

Cannabinoid Profiles - What every Educated Patient and Doctor Should Know


“Cannabis has lots of medicines in it, not one [cannabinoid] is more medicinal than the other. That is silly.” - Sunil Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D.


Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals with the same basic molecular core.  Small molecular differences between different Cannabinoid species account for their variety of mental and physical effects on the human body.  For example, two isomers (identical chemically) d8 THC and d9 THC have a slightly different shape..  d9 THC isomer has great affinity - the key to the lock -  for the CB1 receptor which affects memory, mood, sleep, appetite and pain. On the other hand, d8 THC, abundant in industrial hemp does not "fit" the CB1 receptor which accounts for its non-psychoactive properties.


Essential Cannabinoid testing should include: THC and CBD

A comprehensive Cannabinoid Profile should include:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (d9THC)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)


“There are some labs out there that are just taking the Cannabis and printing out a report that’s fake and saying ‘you passed for pesticides’ and never analyzed for pesticides. There are labs out there that guess at the THC content.”


Cannabinoid Testing - Marijuana Strains and Hashish

Through selective breeding, many popular Cannabis strains attain THC concentrations reaching 30% -in the trimmed female flowers (dry weight).  These ultrapotent psychoactive strains usually contain very little CBD or other cannabinoids.  


“I would like to express my strong belief that CBD based oil (referred to here in Utah as Alepsia) should be available as soon as possible to Utah children with severe epilepsy. The substance is not psychoactive or hallucinogenic, it contains less THC than do other materials that can be legally purchased in Utah, and it has absolutely no abuse potential.”




Imported Hash or compressed Cannabis resin (charas) often contains 5-10 % THC, 5-6 % CBD, as well as non-psychoactive THC (d8) and Cannabinol (CBN).  The herb stock of Asian or Middle eastern Hash is not so manipulated by man and the Cannabinoid profile much richer, with THC and CBD, CBN and d8-THC also being plentiful.


Theoretically some of these import Marijuana concentrates with balanced Cannabinoid Profiles should work very well therapeutically.  Some hashish vendors might do very well by showing off their excellent medicinal cannabinoid profile to prospective buyers.

Some Herb populations grown from imported Indica seeds were found to be rich in CBD with little THC - others had a 50:50 ratio.  This makes it possible to blend Marijuana varieties to produce pretty much any CBD to THC ratio you want.


Lab Test Chromatogram of Seven Cannabinoids at 100 ng/mL in solvent

LC Chromatography - Cananbinoid Profile




10 Cannabinoids and Their Medicinal Properties

There are about 100 Cannabinoids identified to exist in various Strains of Cannabis.  THC and CBD are the most studied.  Several other Cannabinoids have recently captured the attention of Medical Marijuana Scientists and researchers through the world.    Strains high in CBD has become very popular due to its high medicinal potency without psychoactive (stoning) effects. 


Below find a summary that highlights the especially potent properties of the Cannabinoid in question.


9-THC Delta-9 TetrahydroCannabinol Mitigates vomiting, anti-nausea, pain-killer, appetite stimulant, anti convulsive, anti-spasm. It's  acid 9-THCA aids sleep, inhibits cancer, has anti-convulsive anti-spasm properties

CBD -Cannabidiol Speeds bone growth and healing, reduces or halts seizures & convulsions, lowers blood sugar, is anti-inflammatory, reduces vomiting, nausea, superior pain killer.  CBDA  Cannabidiolic Acid - Anti-inflammatory, inhibits cancer,


CBC – Cannabichromene inhibits cancer, speeds bone growth, anti-inflammatory, painkiller.  CBC is generally the 4th most abundant Cannabinoid.  Ultraviolet light tends to increase CBC yields.   Anti-microbial properties are not thought to exceed THC and CBD.  However its anti-inflammatory effects are rated below THC and CBD.  CBCA Cannabichromene Acid stimulate brain cell growth,anti-depressive, pain killer, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial


CBN Cannabinol  Anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsive, anti-fungal, hypothetical immune and nervous activity  CBN while abundant in some strains in South Central Asia, is a lesser studied cannabinoid.    CBN is common to aging Cannabis and hash.  It is known that CBD increases the potency of THC and also the production of testosterone.   

CBG - Cannabigerol mitigates Insomnia , inhibits cancer, speeds bone growth, anti-bacterial properties. . Cannabigerol (CBG) is was found to possess superior properties compared to THC, CBD and CBC against bacteria, mycobacteria and fungi.  CBG exists in very small amounts in Cannabis.  CBGA Cannabigerolic Acid -  Anti-inflammatory, pain-killer, anti-bacterial

8-THCV Tetrahydrocannabivarin is anti-convulsant, anti-seizure, bone growth stimulant.  Thought abundant in natural hemp, as the research data comes in, this overlooked cannabinoid is appearing to be very underrated. 


Terpenes Profiling

“The range of flavors expressed by the genus Cannabis is extraordinary – no other plant on the planet can equal the cacophony of smells and tastes available from Cannabis.” - DJ Short,


Terpenes are abundant in Cannabis resin at 10-20% by weight.  At least 100 different types have been identified in various varieties of Cannabis.  Terpenes are produced in the Trichomes (bud-hairs), the same glands that produce THC and other Cannabinoids.


A terpene is any member of a group of volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons with building blocks of C10H16. Terpenes reside in the essential oils of many plants, especially abundant in citrus, evergreen trees, Marijuana and so many others.  Terpenes are both catalysts building blocks of Cannabinoid molecules.  By understanding how Terpenes work, growers and scientists basically have a road map to manipulating cannabinoids-  to their desired ratios. 


Terpenes generally do not bind to the CB1 receptor - which causes psychoactivity.  Terpenes many medicinal properties are well known, however only recently have scientists begun to study Medicinal Terpenes in Cannabis in earnest. 


“Scientists found in animal trials that a THC + Terpenes Extract - inhibited spasticity and caused a more rapid onset of full muscle relaxation compared to THC alone.”


 A standard Terpene Profile Should Contain: α-Pinene, Camphene, Myrcene, β-Pinene, 3-Carene, α-Terpinene, Ocimene, Limonene, p-Cymene, Eucalyptol, g-Terpinene, Terpinolene, Linalool, Isopulegol, Geraniol, β-Caryophyllene, Humulene, Nerolidol, Guaiol, Caryophyllene Oxide, α-bisabolol.


PRODUCT LABELING - Cannabis Industry Outperforms other types of Producers


The Most Abundant and Important Terpenes in Medical Marijuana

is the most abundant terpene in most strains of Marijuana.  It contributes a musky, earthy herbal aroma to its hemp-host. Medicinal properties; relaxant, antioxidant, muscle toner, sleep tonic, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and pain killer. Concentrations of Myrcene range from 0.1 to 1%.  Super high Myrcene concentrations are said to be very energising. 


α β Pinenes accounts for some Cannabis’ piney odor.   α Pinene is well known to be anti-inflammatory / bronchodilator, antibacterial.


α-Bisabolol has anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.  Its sweet floral aroma to contributes to some varieties bouquet.  This terpene has the reputation to rejuvenate the skin making it popular in the cosmetics industry. 

β-Caryophyllene has been shown to be antidepressive and anti-addictive.  This terpene contributes a spicy black smell to several Pot strains. 


Caryophyllene oxide is suspected to be anti inflammatory and anti-allergic.  This terpene contribute a Woody aroma to the bouquet. 

α-Humulene has anti-inflammatory appetite suppressant properties.  Humulene contributes a "hoppy" aroma.
Limonene  is antifungal, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, dissolves gallstones, mood-enhancer; treat gastrointestinal issues, depression. Limonene is contributes a crisp lemon smell to.... lemons and some varieties of Marijuana alike.

Linalool is a relaxant, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and anti-acne  Linalool provides a floral, citrus fragrance a strain's bouquet.. 

Terpinolene is antibacterial, antifungal sedating and perhaps even anti-cancer. It is also used to treat insomnia.  Terpinolene (as in turpentine)  has been used as an antiseptic for centuries.

This terpene contributes a woody even smoky fragrance.
Geraniol is commonly known as an antioxidant and may protect against neuropathy.  Researchers are led to believe this terpene has anti-cancer properties as well.  Geraniol's rosey  fragrance make it a popular ingredient in many cosmetics.


"He had long suspected that the terpenes present in Cannabis resin enhance the potency of THC. Ten years after launching HortaPharm, Watson tested his hypothesis in an experiment that compared the subjective effects of 100 % THC to lesser amounts in terpene-infused Cannabis resin. The consensus among Watson and several associates: Terpene-infused resin with 50 percent THC was more potent by dry weight than an equivalent amount of pure THC."


Interesting Facts about Terpenes

  • More than 100 types identified in Cannabis
  • Account for 10 to 20 % of the weight of Cannabis Oil
  • Drug Dogs sniff out the Terpenes in Pot, not the THC
  • Growing conditions, climate greatly affect the content, the Terpene profile
  • Terpenes interact with THC and CBD in known and mysterious ways
  • Some doctors think Terpenes may be as important as THC and CBD some day
  • Mosquitos, mold, yeast, fungus and bacteria generally HATE terpenes


MMJDOCTORONLINE NOTES: You'll probably need a Recommendation from a California licensed doctor to purchase Medical Marijuana that has been properly tested.  We provide legal, quick, inexpensive Medical Cannabis Evaluations 100% online.  Click here to learn more.  Our documents are accepted by every licensed club, cooperative, Cannabis club and clinic within the borders of California.



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