Harmful toxic elements can be absorbed into cannabis plants primarily through uptake from the soil, water, and fertilizer. Concentrations are at comparatively trace levels – in the parts per billion or parts per trillion – but can still be harmful to end consumers. As such, it’s important to measure the toxic elemental content of plants and plant materials.
Cannabis and hemp plants are complex biological entities that require sample preparation, usually consisting of homogenization followed by microwave digestion to completely break down the complex matrix and extract the elements. Despite these steps, matrix-induced spectral interferences persist, which may cause false readings, especially for toxic elements. To help ensure accuracy and compliance, our NexION ICP MS includes a detailed SOP that allows heavy metals such as Mercury, Lead, Arsenic, and Cadmium, to be quantified in a cannabis lab.
The NexION® ICP-MS combined with a Titan MPS™ microwave system can effectively prepare and analyze cannabis for both nutritional and toxic elements. Reproducible sample digestion is achieved through precise reaction control of temperature and/or pressure. Access to the sample area from above via a hinged lid offers easy sample access. The system employs 100 mL vessels and allows digestion temperatures up to 260°C and pressures up to 100 bar.