Issues with potency testing for chocolate edibles.

Has anyone had issues with potency testing for edibles, specifically chocolates? We have had issues from the start with our testing companies (2 of them so far) and their ability to quantify THC in a chocolate matrix. Say we want to make chocolates that have 10mg of THC, we mix in the appropriate amount of distillate for the given batch size but testing comes back with the chocolates having only a fraction of 10mg. Sometimes as little as 5-6mg per individual chocolate. There were some articles recently about a presentation at a recent ACS conference involving this exact issue. It’s speculated that fats in chocolate “sequester” THC such that it’s not all available to what ever solvent is used for analysis. Is this an issue anyone is familiar with?

Anyone working at a testing facility care to share any info on how you test chocolates? Do you have to do multiple extractions to get all of the cannabanoids out of the chocolate homogenate? Do you do any sort of lipid removal process? Etc.?

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do you have multiple tests from the same batch?
homogeneity is also a big problem for many edible makers.

I’ve seen nominal 5mg gummies end up with over 150mg in them because the concentrate was not appropriately homogenized.

Edit: concentrate was homogeneous, it was not properly homogenized into the gummies. It visibly fell out. The last 5 or 6 from a batch of 200 were loaded!!


We have multiple tests for the same batch taken on the same day. We typically submit 4 pieces of chocolate every time we submit any for testing. The mixing is consistently good. We tend to have a very small standard deviation in potency.

Is it recommended to homogenize distillate before adding any to edibles? I considered that but didn’t think it necessary. Say I have 1kg of distillate that tests at 85% THC and I’m making batches of chocolate on different days/weeks using 10g of distillate at a time. Does that jar of distillate need to be homogenized before each batch of chocolate is made? Is there significant separation of compounds within the jar of distillate?

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What is your deviation? Is it 3-5% I notice the middle of the bar is the strongest by a tiny amount because of how it cools

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Could you not superfreeze and/or Saponificate to separate the fats? and then send it in?

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How confident are you that the distillate you have is perfectly homogenous?

Potency testing is often done in methanol, fats are not very soluble in methanol


The best approach may be to work with the lab to develop a method that actually works!

If you can convince them to spike your matrix and document the low recovery from chocolate, then they can legitimately up your numbers to reflect the reality that they can’t extract but 70% of what they know to be there.

Or at least that’s the discussion I had with the only analytical lab director I’ve ever really trusted.


I figured the testing labs would do some form of lipid removal. We cannot technically do that, as we need to have it tested in the form that it would be sold in.

You may want to consider employing a high shear homogenizer to blend the chocolate and distillate. You’ll easily achieve uniform potency per batch processed. Potency deviation is about 1%.

Also have you done batch homogeneity

What is the second bar, middle bar and second to last bar testing at


At SRI ( we make GCs for cannabis testing ) we take 1 gram of the choc and dissolve in 10ml hot water ( in a 40 ml vial ).
Then fill the 40 vial to the top with hexane ( or heptane ). The non-polar hexane will not mix with the water but the THC or CBD in the water would rather be in the hexane so after you shake and mix the THC will have migrated into the hexane. Let the vial sit for 30 minutes or until the non-polar and water phases separate. Then inject 1 ul of the hexane layer into the GC. This assumes the THC or CBD in the choc is already decarbed and thus more soluble in a non-polar solvent that it would be in water.


i need me one of these GCs


Don’t use chocolate unless you know how to bond the oil with it. Cannabis oil likes fats, work with it. Not a lot of fat in chocolate unless you put it there.

I’m very good at bonding it

It seems that you need 1.25x the amount you’re shooting for to for sure pass testing

So I think the extraction of the Chocolate into the solvent is a tiny bit flawed

But even then the same bar is going to vary a tiny bit say +- 3% ime

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Give us a call at SRI

Problem seems to have been resolved by extracting a smaller portion, rather than the entire chocolate. Each chocolate weighs about 6g, extraction with whole chocolate gives a potency of 50% or so there abouts of the amount of oil we calculated for each piece. Using 0.5g or so of chocolate gives 100% (proportionally) the amount of THC we calculated and added.


Does that agree with your third party results? I thought those were low?

What is your process before tempering I can help make sure you have no separation or variation anymore, my wife’s a baker I write all her sops


I use gc-fid, but I never analyzed chocolates so far.

According to your expectations of 0.17% THC in your bars, I would have simply tried to digest 250 mg of sample into 5 and 10 ml acetone (duplicate at two concentrations, to check for solubilty limits issues). At worst I would have applied so heat (60c) for some minutes.

Im fairly sure this would have worked out.

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