HPLC guidance

Looking at buying a new system to put in our retail store. we offer testing to the public. What systems are out there that are easy to use for a semi trained staff member ?

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What are you trying to test for and what volume of tests and what’s your price range

Long story short, semi trained retail counter people are going to not be capable of getting anything like consistant and or reliable analytical chemistry results

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Even just interpreting analytical chemistry data takes a bit of knowledge past semi trained


Well we have a full lab in the store so there is one person who knows what’s going on. We want to be able to have the public bring in their cbd products and then tell them if what the label says is accurate in cbd per ml


@SummerSRI may be some help


@mwhfarms I work at SRI Instruments. The model 310 MM GC is made for anyone to learn how to operate. It’s portable, it doubles as airline baggage. It measures cannabinoids (including acid/raw forms i.e., THCa, CBDa, etc.), terpenes and residual solvents.
It has a built in hydrogen generator that runs of of distilled water (about a $1 per gallon at the store). It also needs an outlet for electricity. To make samples you take 1 tenth of a gram of whatever it is you are testing potency for, and put it in a 40mL glass vial we give you, along with Acetone you can get at the hardware store, that has been pre mixed with one gram of our internal standard we also give you.
Feel free to message me here, email me at summer@srigc.com or call me on my direct number 310-974-2534.



@broken_glassware I disagree.


Shimadzu makes a turn-key HPLC system for cannabis. It looked decent. I would imagine P&E, etc have similar systems.

I’ve had decent success with used Agilent HPLC units, chemstation was fairly user friendly though I have no personal experience with its successor workstation software,

Shimadzu has always gotten good reviews from my friends in pharma formulation labs for its price point.

At a minimum learning dilution and concentration factor calculations, making mobile phase, reading chromatograms, sample prep, etc is not too hard for people with a comprehension for chemistry but may not be formally trained.

Calibration, method creation, etc should be done by someone with experience

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This might be what you’re looking for. I’m probably going to pull the trigger on this machine pretty soon.

It’s 13.5k

Not worth it. We had one, not accurate on concentrate, did ok on flower.

You can get a refurbished HPLC with warranty in the 25k range.

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I mean, sure the concept of making dilutions can be taught pretty easily, but it takes a while before over really does a good job of it. Training, and maybe a chemistry degree would indicate someone would be good at it, but I’ve known chemists who sucked at analytical work, and one of the best I knew had no formal education, but he did work really hard to learn it…

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If you want accurate results you will want a decently trained tech to do it, someone with good hand eye skills, an analytical mind and patience. Having semi trained people doing the work will not give you good results (in fact I predict low repeatability and highly questionable results), especially if you are working with matrices other than straight flowers or tinctures. Just look at the results from different analytical labs in the same product, its a hard thing to get done right, even with advanced equipment and supposedly trained specialists.
Nice idea you have, especially since CBD products are so questionable, but I really recommend having a highly trained person running everything


Very true, that’s more or less what I’m attempting to get at, the concepts are fairly teachable if the person being trained has good comprehension for the subject and then combines experience with their new training to be able to run a basic HPLC with consistency after supervised operation for a few months. I generally like people to have a science or engineering degree because they will have the fundamentals of good lab practices and a foundation of chemistry concepts.

Of course thats all good and well for in-house work, for an accredited lab for the state either an extensive resume or a B.S. is must in my opinion


For that application - having retail staff perform HPLC analyses in a shop - if recommend going with something aside from HPLC. With HPLC you’re going to generate hazardous waste and need to do maintenance and trouble shooting when things don’t work well. With calibrating and method development and or validation, it’s going to be more work than what your probably hoping for. There’s also the issue others have voiced about having properly trained people to keep it running, prepare samples and standards, maintenance, troubleshooting, calibration. I think it would be tough to expect retail employees to be capable of doing those things with limited to no education or experience. Consider going with one of the ATR IR Spectroscopy platforms from Agilent (Agilent 630). It’s non-destructive testing and can test a sample in a minute with no solvents. They’re about 30-40 K though and you would need to work with a lab to calibrate it. But that would be ideal if you want to do fast testing in your store.

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Is there derivitization involved in sample prep to detect acidic forms with your GC?

Anyone have time with one of these units and will it work in our field?


Waters HPLC system is by far the easiest

im looking for an “at home” testing solution this black market has gotten out of control and these labs are too damn slow

How much do these go for