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Options for Home Cannabinoid Testing

Curious if anyone here has ever used a home cannabinoid testing unit before, like a CannaDX or something similar to it. @memberdirectory

Here is the CannaDx.

I’ve seen paper blot tests, electronic meters, places you can send in “samples,” quote unquote but that may require a license to submit.

What options are there for someone growing at home that is not a licensed cultivator wanting to have their buds tested for potency?


I haven’t, but we were just talking about HiGrade earlier this week. It claims to be able to detect THC% using just a microscope attachment to a smartphone. Seems too good to be true. But for $45 it might be worth trying out.


You go to a hemp lab.

That is, an unlicensed lab.

They exist. Botanacor in Denver.



I’ve used and sold the CannaDx before and it is not accurate. It only pulls from certain data points that they have. Several of the customer who bought the product returned it due to inaccuracy. I stopped using mine and ending up sending samples out for lab testing instead.


I had a heard a few people mention it was not the most accurate unit, thank you for sharing your experience with it! Are there any home options you know of that are remotely viable that don’t require sending in or taking a sample in?


This is the only other portable tester that I have heard about:


I’ve also heard great things about Orange Photonics. I haven’t used it personally, but one of our customers who has raved about how simple it was to use. I’ve also met their founder, Dylan, a few times and he’s a great dude.


I’d like to see the CannaDx’s results compared to those of a licensed laboratory using high pressure liquid chromatography, where highly trained and experienced chemists prepare the samples, run the machine, and interpret that data.

From our experience in the testing industry, there are no uncertified labs that we can refer people to in Colorado at this time.



MyDX is a great concept, but as far as accuracy, it has some obvious limitations. Its sensors attempt to match a digital fingerprint to a known array of known results, that means that its accuracy is always improving.
Great idea and truly a great product at that price point!

What about the all-analogic alpha-CAT ? Their demo video is mesmerizing. Very affordable. Seems fun, but time-consuming.

Then you go up in price a couple tenfold into the world of spectroscopy analysis, which is at all effects, laboratory grade accuracy. The only reason why cannabis laboratories are not using it is that it’s not an ISO accreditable instrument (yet).

Here is a (non hexaustive) list of some instruments that I saw in action, in the 5,000 - 25,000 USD range:

Frankly, it would be silly to think that the accuracy of an HPLC (and a trained technician) could be matched - but these are perfect instruments to perform continuous QA on your products just before the final measurements performed by a licensed lab.

/my 2mg


Agreed; I have pretty realistic expectations for how a product meant for home use will perform versus an industrial version. Many home growers too simply would like to have an idea of what strains they are growing might test out at, even if it’s a loose average or ballpark.

I’ve heard of alpha-CAT, that’s actually who Mephisto Genetics (one of the hottest autoflower breeders in the market right now) uses for their testing.


Hi Jordan,

I spoke with the rep for this device a while ago and he said that the costly part was the little cups you use! lol…and that it had an error rate of 2-3% of basic THC/CBD…if that’s not an issue then it could work out ok for guesstimates…like a in field test, or an trim test (makining sure your trim HAS THC still in it and was not “keefed out” buy others before you,…dont’ laugh its been done trust me, not funny when its your money and products that depend on it.

so in the end, you get what you pay for and this is ok for an estimation.


Even in the professional cannabis industry, people are still “pinchin’ buds out of your sack.” That sucks man.

Have you found an alternative solution yet?

I haven’t done a lot of digging on this company yet, but I met them at a show awhile back (I want to say CannaCon Seattle,)

They’ve got a unit for testing as well; curious if anyone has heard of them?


its like the old gold miners who would put small NUGGETS in their hair with hair grease…they had to be Showered under supervision and all the gold picked up after they showered and then where dismissed from the camp…lol, sound like its the same deal…


No substitute to a licensed lab. Specially in a regulated state. Which Arizona is next. SB1420 becomes a law @ 4/20/18.


I agree with many of the other posts…we have tested a few portable testing units vs real lab tests and none seem to live up to the task. Usually they aren’t even in the right ballpark.


Speaking of the devil,

I just received an email from GemmaCert with their early bird offer. At 2500$, it seems very well positioned in the domain…

I met the CEO and lead engineer of the product at The Emerald Conference, clearly knowledgeable and passionate, he illustrated the technicalities of the instrument for over an hour and I was pretty much sold.

The only problem is that I am very easily convinced by sales pitches performed by those that I consider smarter than me :slight_smile:


Check out thin film chromatology. Thats what we use.


I have the Canna DX too. mixed results. I don’t like the 5% up or down leeway, We do just as well just trying to guess the % by looking at the bud…


@janvdb any near Pueblo? :grinning: Thanks for the heads up; I’m checking out Botanacor.

@BenMGC pretty bold claims on that scope, did you see this?

Most of the HiGrade’s features make use of The HiGrade Scope. It turns your smart phone into a powerful microscope, allowing our deep learning algorithms to detect specific patterns in your plant - and diagnose it accurately.

Although to be fair, they do try hard to appeal to my popularity.

I’ll see if they will send me one to play with; I’ll report back if so.