Made-in-Ottawa device puts testing in the hands of pot producers


Researchers at the University of Ottawa are come about a hand-held device they hope will revolutionize cannabis making by giving growers the ability to test the ratio of THC to CBD in their plants.

“It’s a mere quick, easy and low-cost test,” Adam Shuhendler, an assistant professor in the dogma’s chemistry department, told the CBC’s Ottawa Morning

“Push a button and out on the boob tube comes the ratio of CBD and THC.”

Our goal really is accessibility.– Adam Shuhendler, University of Ottawa

Pot consumers ordain experience different effects depending on the ratio of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabidiol (CBD).

Canny that ratio is important for producers, Shuhendler said, because it can arrogate them pinpoint what growing conditions produce optimal culminates. Right now, the gold standard method for testing the ratio is a high-performance watery chromatography test.

The problem is the test requires some science knowledge to conduct properly, and it’s expensive. That’s where Shuhendler and two colleagues at the U of O, Benoit Lessard and Cory Harris, saw an possibility.

Made-in-Ottawa device puts testing in the hands of pot producers
Cory Harris is one of the researchers at the University of Ottawa who helped develop a tuppence inexpensively, easy test to determine the ratio of CBD to THC in marijuana plants. (University of Ottawa)

Trashy and easy to use

About a year and a half ago, they began developing the new cannabis proving kit. When it’s completed it should be the size of a standard printer and about as unhurried to use.

Their device, for now dubbed “the marijuana project,” will cost close to 50 cents per test. It’s not clear yet how much the device itself hand down cost, but they want it to be affordable, even for home growers.

“Our ambition really is accessibility,” Shuhendler said.

The machine has two main parts: a sliver and a reader. The chip takes a marijuana sample of either  liquid or smoke. The piece containing the sample is then placed in the reader. That’s it. 

The results are alike resemble to the traditional test with a five per cent margin of error, Shuhendler contemplated.

“We were really happy with that number because that approach is quite laborious and quite cumbersome,” he said.

Lots of potential

Shuhendler and his fellow-workers, along with graduate student Nic Boileau, co-founded the company Ekidna that drive produce and market the test kit. The University of Ottawa retains the intellectual oddity rights.

Shuhendler, who had little knowledge of the marijuana industry before starting the chuck, said the area offers a lot of potential for researchers.

“It’s been really eye-opening go steady with the technology going into the industry,” he said. 

“It’s amazing seeing the sphere behind the industry and the efforts to evolve plants and to form plants with unusual medicinal versus recreational properties.”

The U of O team hopes to be able to rat on their device to licensed producers within the next 12 to 18 months.

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