SC Labs Unveils Advanced Terpene Testing

A California cannabis testing laboratory has improved its service by adding advanced reporting features.

Santa Cruz-based SC Labs today announced its licensing of Napro Research’s (Napro) proprietary data visualization tool, PhytoFacts.

PhytoFacts displays a complete chemical profile for flowers, concentrates, and advanced terpenoid visualization through Napro PhytoPrint technology.

According to SC Labs, new testing reports will establish more appropriate markers for quality and predicting effects through chemical composition.

Chemometric Characterization

SC Labs says that it aims to lead the conversation away from Indica, Sativa, and the potency race to focus on defining cannabis through its chemometric strain characterizations.

SC Labs President Josh Wurzer says that the problem is the lack of standardization in defining and determining terpene profiles.

According to Wurzer, many of the largest flower and concentrate brands promote terpenes in a less-than-ideal manner.

Wurzer says that cultivators, processors, retailers, and consumers could benefit from increased standardization for product quality evaluation and distinguishing label claims.

SC Labs says that chemometric profiles offer a more complete and visual overview of cannabis strains by pairing SC Labs’ testing protocol with intuitive reports that complement a certificate of analysis.

According to SC Labs, end-users will be able to see the plant’s chemical profile, terpenoids-to-cannabinoids ratios, organoleptic attributes, and potential entourage effects.

“Indica and Sativa are outdated and now obsolete terms when attempting to describe the effect of cannabis strains,” says Client Relations Director Alec Dixon. “They are, instead, morphological terms that primarily describe plants’ growth trait. The time has come that we as a community take a more educated and sophisticated approach towards understanding the range of what cannabis has to offer through establishing more appropriate markers for quality and predicting effects through chemical composition.”

The Essential Entourage

As the chemical composition of cannabinoids and terpenes create cannabis’ entourage effects, Dixon says that terpene content preserved is one of the greatest markers to “substantiate quality from how a plant was grown.”

Dixon believes that evaluation of the quality of cannabis should be more holistic, “with THC being used as one of many markers alongside total terpene content, major and minor cannabinoid ratios, and relative cannabinoid to terpene ratios.”

“Nearly a decade of research and development were invested into creating this easy to read reporting tool that can inform decision making at all levels of the cannabis ecosystem,” says Napro Research President Dr. Mark Lewis. “Science, production, and biotech-focused communities have been employing the PhytoFacts to drive innovation for years, and we are thrilled that SC Labs will now be expanding the use of this tool to the community of consumers and beyond.”

SC Labs CEO Jeff Gray says creating actionable data has always been a primary focus of the company.

Gray says that the new report format is intuitive and helps budtenders and customers identify the right strain for their desired effect.

“Perhaps even more important,” says Gray. “SC Labs’ clients focused on breeding and processing can selectively modulate the terpene ratios of their strains in order to maximize desired benefits.”

Gray says that PhytoFacts has the potential to be utilized similarly to nutrition labels on food products.