Ruben Valenzuela, Valenveras:

Technology allows cannabis growers to test potency in-house, in less than a minute

"If growers can do their testing in-house, they can improve their production process and save money," says Ruben Valenzuela, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Valenveras. That is why Valenveras, after years of research, has developed a 'portable lab' for cannabis analysis that uses NIR technology. "NIR spectroscopy is a fast, non-destructive technique that allows the measurement of multiple components in a sample in a matter of seconds. It is a non-invasive technique that does not require sample preparation, making it ideal for the analysis of delicate or expensive samples. We now have a handheld device available that measures cannabis potency accurately in less than a minute, allowing companies to make fast and accurate decisions to improve their business."

How does it work?
After adding the sample of dried or ground cannabis, the device is able to analyze total THC, total CBD, total CBG, total terpenes, THCa, and CBDa. The results will appear on the user's mobile app. "Over the years, we have taught the system to become more and more accurate through samples of different percentages of cannabinoids. Based on that database, the analyzer measures very accurately. The system is periodically upgraded, making sure that the device is updated with the latest algorithms to provide the user with accurate measurements at all times," Ruben explains.

The accuracy of Valenveras' method has been validated at CTAEX, a research institute with samples from Sovereign Fields and Bhalutek Hemp, companies with the AEMPS cannabis research license. "The samples were validated according to ISO 17025 in cannabis analyses, employing High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). This ensures that users of Valenveras are backed by scientifically rigorous and internationally recognized testing methods," Ruben says.

The development of the Valenveras Portable Lab is made possible through their collaboration with Si-ware. "Si-ware has developed a new, patented chip that has more range and accuracy. This allows our analyzer to measure with more precision." Moreover, the equipment is designed for more material and substance than just cannabis flower: soil, seeds, and liquids can also be measured.

Helping growers
According to Ruben, there has been much demand for the analyzer to help breeders with phenohunting. "As many growers do their own phenohunting in-house, being able to quickly measure the potency of your varieties is of great help. One of our clients was using GC/MS to do their own testing. However, they could just do a couple of tests in one day. With NIR spectroscopy, you can run many more tests in a day, making the phenohunting process much faster," Ruben says. For hemp growers, in-house testing can be very valuable as well. "It is, of course, important for hemp growers to know exactly how much THC their crop has. If they go over the limit, they need to destroy their production." Whether it's used for hemp, cannabis production, or phenohunting, Ruben explains that the system is a way to do quality control, which may be more important than ever. "Around 80% of the players in the industry are not having success. Growers could greatly benefit from a system that can test their cannabis potency quickly, allowing them to make quick decisions and improve their production."

According to Antonio Sancho Lopez of MIFCO Biosciences, the company has witnessed a paradigm shift in their phenohunting process since incorporating the Valenveras Portable Lab. He remarked, "Since we have the Neospectra with Valenveras models, our phenohunting process has totally changed. Now, we're capable of evaluating the potency of all our phenotypes and subsequently studying the curve of potency throughout every flowering week. We had previously employed other portable NIR technologies, but none met our standards. With our current setup, we can analyze over 40 samples per hour with exceptional accuracy."

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