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DIY Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) of cannabinoids at home - tutorial

Discussion in 'Advanced Marijuana Cultivation' started by PhenoMenal, Nov 16, 2017.


    PhenoMenal Well-Known Member

    I don't think soap makes too many other peoples boots tremble either mate :) Soap isn't KOH though.
    KOH obviously isn't crazy dangerous (it's no dramas), but it still has properties that need to be respected (just normal common sense) :)

    KOH Safety Data Sheet:
    KOH pH = 11

    And worth rementioning, always add KOH to the ethanol -- never pour ethanol on KOH

    Just buy it mate, no need to make it especially as it's cheap :)
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
    raggyb likes this.

    raggyb Active Member

    Yeah I saw some of these warnings, including "slowly dissolves glass" LOL. It's good that even though we're potheads we're not so "dumb" we would not have a safety moment. Be careful with chemicals, folks! Shit I think with that tablet form you have some dangers to worry about too. If you spilled water in the tablets you would have some serious problems. Don't store any of this shit near acids, nutrients, paint thinner..etcetera. But hey, check it out, I got some results to share!

    raggyb Active Member

    Did the Bert's test. Pretty easy! Tested Afghan, Cannatonic and Candida. Mixed info on the Afghan on the net, but saw a lab test showing 0.0%CBD. Other info says it does have CBD but doesn't say how much. THC though is HIGH. Cannatonic is known as having like 6.5%THC and 6.5% CBD, but some claim it's inconsistent. Candida is claimed to be below 1% CBD and has 2 phenos one which is 10%CBD and one is 20%CBD.
    PhenoMenal likes this.

    raggyb Active Member

    Test 1,
    2 mins in, though I didn't mean to put this much solution in, see a little more yellow on #3
    2mins in.JPG
    after 5 mins and stirred,
    Repeated the test with more sample less solution,
    Fuckin A, results are what you would expect! Love this shit! Thanks Phenomenal!
    PhenoMenal likes this.

    PhenoMenal Well-Known Member

    yeah thats a LOT of solution! i only use about 10ml - third a standard drinking shot, just enough to cover 1-2 peas worth of plant matter. You should find with CBD strains it will then turn reddish instead of yellow. But yep as you now know it's a very simple and pretty reliable test! Nice addition to any toolkit
    ps. Beam's not Bert's lol
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018

    PhenoMenal Well-Known Member

    btw here is a good video of Beam's test, it's of a commercial version of the product tho (i'm not endorsing it one way or the other), but it literally is just the Beam's Test you did and shows how easy it is, how little solution you need (the eppendorf tubes he uses are perfect, i use them for Thin Layer Chromatography extractions also), and the resulting color

    I took these screenshots from it and added labels for clarity:

    You can see by the small amount used that your first tests were VERY DILUTED by comparison

    [begin pure speculation] btw, the solution as you know is clear like water initially, but its still common to get a mild yellow tinge ... so I have another question - what causes the yellow tinge?

    i don't think that's a reaction to THC, one because Beam's test "doesn't detect THC", but also because if there was a change i would imagine it would be far more strong/deeper color result seeing as THC is usually present in high levels. So I wonder if it's maybe reacting to one of the lessers like CBG, CBC or CBN (it is not a purely-CBD test, and just from what I've read it seems maybe alkalinity might be a part of the key). Would be interesting to see the result from a no-CBD/no-THC hemp variety but i dont have one. I'll have to do some Beam's tests alongside my TLC's from now on, might be able to isolate what's going on [end of pure speculation]

    Can anyone with a chemistry background please shed some light on Beam's Test?
    (((Potassium hydroxide + Ethanol) ... add CBD-heavy-cannabis) ... = colour change)

    Sadly there is very little info currently available on the web about this, and most international laws prohibit such experiments (due to the apparent "illegal material" that is medical marijuana)

    Cannabis illegality is literally the only thing stopping Beam's Test, because the chems required to do the test (ethanol or potassium hydroxide) are not controlled - and, they're both easily available on ebay etc.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018

    PhenoMenal Well-Known Member

    Thin Layer Chromatography to detect Zika and Dengue virii?

    I have to momentarily hijack this TLC thread from detecting cannabinoids to detecting virii ...

    The amazing breakthrough CRISPR genetic engineering technology ... or specifically, a NEW USE for it ... a DETECTION method, that instantly reminded me of TLC ..... and it seems that might actually be the case.


    The paper strip part also suggests to me that it's not just chromatography, but possibly Thin Layer Chromatography???

    And if you watch the first part of the image especially, you will notice CAPILLARY ACTION driving the base liquid up the strips... just as what happens in TLC.

    The animated gif image they released reminded me a lot of Thin Layer Chromatography!
    (DISCLAIMER: I have NO idea what technique they're using).

    Anyway, whatever it is, i find it a very beautiful advancement by our smartest brothers and sisters

    Notice the CAPILLARY ACTION, and im guessing silica-based strips...

    The $64,000 question -- IS THIS THIN LAYER CHROMATOGRAPHY? :)
    (i'm not in a position to say, but it has many similar properties!)

    IF this is TLC to detect the viruses, you can clearly tell there's something very "funky" at the base of their TLC plates/strips lol... the green/purple part ... which looks very "custom-made".

    If it is TLC they will i'm assuming need a 'dye' to reveal any non-visible components (just as we need to use Fast Blue B or BB to reveal cannabinoids), so im guessing that green and purple patch is the dye ... fascinating physical structure though! or perhaps its some biomatter

    It seems the blue line highlighted in a red circle in the "Control" strip is where the "sample" was positioned on the plate (our equivalent of putting a small dot of cannabinoids in hexane at the bottom of a TLC plate)
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018 at 4:54 AM

    ANC Well-Known Member

    Geez, yeah I left a bottle of mimosa bark basified in caustic soda... it ate a hole through the bottle and made a big mess.
    raggyb likes this.

    raggyb Active Member

    Must be bases then that dissolve glass. The KoH is like pH 14.

    PhenoMenal Well-Known Member

    the plastic eppendorf tubes i use are polypropylene, they handle hexane for TLC no problems. I've only tried Beam's Test once so far (well, two samples) and used glass shotglasses, and that was fine, though I then let it evaporate in the sun so it didnt have much time to do anything to the glass ... I think I'll keep using shotglasses for Beam's, it's just a bit easier to work with having the wider mouth, but I guess i'll have to ensure I don't leave it in the glass overnight!

    i'm not sure, but i know hydrofluoric acid also quickly dissolves glass. Potassium hydroxide solution MSDS = "Slowly dissolves glass"
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018 at 7:16 PM

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