How to Test!


Potency Chromatogram Draing

Cannabinoids Testing Information

Unsurprisingly, Cannabinoids are the most common analytes tested for in cannabis and hemp. There are two types of equipment used by labs to test cannabinoids: High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography (GC).

What is the Difference Between HPLC and GS Testing?

While each has their pros and cons, the HPLC is the hemp and cannabis potency testing gold-standard due to it's speed and ability to measure the largest spectrum of cannabinoid analytes.

GC is less commonly used for testing potency in cannabis and hemp. You will most often see this method used in cases where a long list of cannabinoids isn't needed. The largest difference is that a GC will decarboxylate all acid-cannabinoids in its measurement process. The outcome is that you end up with single result for the total of the acid and neutral cannabinoid (e.g. a single result for total THC instead of separate results for THC and THCa.) One benefit of the GC is that you can also test for terpenes on a system configured for cannabinoid analysis!

Getting Started with Cannabinoids/Potency Testing

Interested in testing cannabinoids? Contact us for expert assistance in choosing the right solution for your potency testing needs. No two businesses are the same so no two testing solutions are the same. We work with you to find the best fit for your needs, budget, and experience level.

All AIM cannabinoids/potency testing solutions come with a built-in method and SOP. We also offer installation and training either onsite or at our Colorado facility. All AIM equipment comes with warranty and support included.

  1. Cannabinoids/Potency
  2. Terpenes
  3. Residual Solvents
  4. Heavy Metals
  5. Pesticides

Explore AIM's Equipment Inventory

Equipment/Testing Method Matrix

Quick Reference Table

  HPLC Headspace GC or GC-MS Liquid GC or GC-MS ICP-MS LC-MS/MS GC-MS/MS


Residual Solvents


Heavy Metals



** For simple solvent analysis only. Headspace is preferred for most applications

**** Supplementary to LC/MS MS for certain pesticide analytes