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Kansas State University’s Olathe Campus Is Studying Delta-9 THC And CBD For Hemp Farmers



  • Kansas growers can submit their samples for testing voluntarily.
  • The samples are dried, ground and red by a machine to determine their composition.

Hemp is becoming a major crop in the United States with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, and Kansas is rich with farmland. Now, researchers from the Olathe campus of Kansas State University are trying to create a little clarity in the industrial hemp crop’s level of delta-9 THC and CBD concentrations.

Growers now have an opportunity to submit their samples of hemp to the Postharvest Physiology Lab to have it analyzed and quantified for five different cannabinoids. The results take about three to five business days to get back to the growers.

The lab is directed by Eleni Pliakoni, who works as the associate professor of urban food production and postharvest handling. Presently, no other facility in Kansas is licensed outside of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, or KDA. The testing methods of the Olathe-based lab are the same as what is used at the state’s Agriculture Department.

Pliakoni commented, “We’ve been working closely with the KDA chemists to make sure that our testing methods are identical so that it’s a beneficial service to growers.”

This synchronicity is necessary to hemp crops, considering that it can be used for fabric, paper, biofuel, plastics, health foods, cosmetics, building materials, and more.

The first hemp samples from Kansas-based growers were received by the lab in late August for testing. These growers sent the top 20 centimeters off of some of their hemp plants. The samples were dried out for 48 hours to eliminate moisture and create an accurate analysis. The samples are then ground into a fine powder, which is transferred into a solution in a vial. The vial goes into a machine that reads the sample’s composition.

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