NIR to Monitor CBD to Delta-8 Conversion

by Luke on May 19, 2021

With the explosion in popularity of Delta-8 THC, many different methods of creating a legal D8 product came about. Nearly all SOPs in use employ an acid to convert CBD to Delta-8 THC. 

One thing all methods have in common is that Delta 9 THC is an intermediate product. This becomes one of the trickiest parts of the process because any product containing greater than 0.3% by weight of THC is federally illegal in the US. Next is the issue that running your reaction for too long will cause the loss of the cannabinoids we want.

Distillation of Δ8-THC
Delta-8 THC being distilled after a completed reaction.

Making a Compliant and Safe Product

Detection and monitoring of CBD, D8, and D9 levels gives the progress of the reaction. The end of an ideal reaction should have:

  1. Minimized the amount of D9 THC (less than 0.3%)
  2. Maximized the amount of D8 created
  3. Minimized the amount of side reactions and products
  4. Used as much of the CBD starting material as possible
Delta-8 THC vape cartridges
Delta-8 THC vape cartridges.

If you were to run a TLC plate or an HPLC, then your results are delayed while the sample is prepared, run and reported. NIR gives instant and continuous feedback about your reaction and gives you the control to create the best product. NIR monitoring is capable of measuring Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC, CBD, and many other cannabinoids down to concentrations 0.1% of lower.

Many scans of near IR data overlaid
NIR data evolving over time as the concentrations of reactants change

Posted in Cannabis, cannabis-distillation, Hemp Processing, Near Infrared Measurement of THC and CBD

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