Did you ever question the health benefits associated with the hemp plant? If you have, you aren’t the only one. For the longest time, hemp was frowned upon merely because it shares the same cannabis plant as marijuana. This led many to believe that both plants carry psychoactive properties. How does one differentiate between the two? According to researchers from the Texas A&M University, there is a new way to do so!
As reported by Marijuana Moment, researchers deem a hand-held laser device with 100% accuracy called Raman spectrometer (RS) is all it takes. Have the aforementioned claims been supported? In order to answer this, the researchers supposedly collected fresh samples of hemp and frozen samples of marijuana. The different states of both plants allegedly do not compromise any part of the study; hence it has not been treated as a confounding variable.
After having analyzed the two types of plants, the Raman spectrometer was able to notice differences based on varying intensities in vibrational bands. This feature is significant in labelling the plants’ structures. Other distinguishable facets discovered are as follows:
- Hemp plants are more cellulose than marijuana plants
- Knowing the type of strains housed within each respective plant can help with the labelling process
- Heating process converts THCA into THC, hence THC can be analyzed in samples without solely relying on the oxidation of THCA
Here’s what the team had to share in regard to their study:
“These results demonstrate that RS can be a great tool for hemp cultivation and breeding; allowing for accurate detection of THCA levels in intact growing plants.”
Overall, it is evident that this discovery is a significant one, especially considering how unregulated and novice the cannabinoids market currently is. What makes this study unique, is its real-life application. More specifically, the Raman spectrometer can easily be integrated; whether it be to solve marijuana cases or to test consumers prior to starting a new job or playing a sports match!