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A new ‘hemp scanner’ determines level of THC in cannabis plants

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A team of researchers have created a ‘hemp scanner’ that can determine the level of THC in cannabis plants instantly, without damaging any of the product.

Hemp is technically legal in Texas, but proving that hemp is not cannabis can be a hurdle, requiring testing in a licensed laboratory. So, when a truck carrying thousands of pounds of hemp was recently detained by law enforcement near Amarillo, the driver spent weeks in jail awaiting confirmation that the cargo was legal.

Stories like that one inspired a team of Texas A&M AgriLife researchers to create a “hemp scanner” that can distinguish hemp and cannabis instantly, without damaging any of the product.

The study was published in January in the scientific journal RSC Advances.

Hemp’s heyday

In 2019, Texas lawmakers made a distinction between hemp and cannabis based on the level of THC in a plant. If a plant has less than 0.3% THC, it is designated hemp.

Both federal and state restrictions on hemp have loosened in recent years. As a result, the value of hemp has skyrocketed, said Dmitry Kurouski, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who led the study.

Hemp is rich in compounds that are prized for their medicinal properties and flavour. The most well-known is CBD, or cannabidiol, which is thought to help with pain, anxiety and depression.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Stephanie Price on Health Europa

Published: February 18, 2020

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