Discussion in 'Cooking with Cannabis' started by Wiired, Mar 25, 2019.
I am all aflutter myself.
I feel as if, it's mine. Anticipation..
Got the tcheck in the mail yesterday, thought Id report on my findings thus far. I had a scare initially, as the device failed to turn on! Turned out there was a bad battery in the package they sent. (I won’t hold this against them, luck of the draw I guess). I downloaded the app, made an account, and did the requested firmware update. The device is plastic (I bought the green one) with a glowing, color changing logo, a power button, and a slot to put the tray into. Everything is done on the app, so the device is pretty idiot proof.
The tray is plastic also, but clear. There is a little dimple on one end where you put your oil in, and a top cover that snaps on. The top cover has some kind of lens too. I put 6 drops in the tray dimple to fill it and then put the cover on. The oil promptly overflowed into the tray which told me 6 was too much. Cleaned tray and tried with 4 drops – just right. Took a second to get the bubbles out, I read that bubbles can interfere with the reading.
I performed a few tests with some known-strength oil tinctures to see how accurate it really is. The website says its accurate to within 15% if I read it correctly. My first test was an infused coconut oil that I bought from a dispensary. It is labeled as having 500mg of THC per 40ml bottle, which comes out to about 12.5mg/ml. I put the 4 drops into the tcheck tray and let it do its thing. It flashed some funny little messages while its working (screens attached) and then spit out 13.3mg/ml for the reading, making it measure at 532mg for the bottle. Not bad, I was 32mg over which is like 6.4% difference. This falls right into the middle of their stated margin of error. (The sticker on the bottle says the batch actually contains 508.2mg of THC, so really its closer).
Test #2 was from a big batch of infused olive oil that I made a few weeks ago that was lab tested at 8.6mg/ml. The tcheck says that this concoction measures 8.3mg/ml. Again, this is pretty close, but this time it was under just a smidge.
Test #3 was a quick test of THCa from a weak, non-decarbed alcohol tincture. My mental math guessed the content to be somewhere around 2mg/ml and the tcheck reported that it to be 1.6mg/ml. These measurements aare close enough for me!
I don’t have any CBD tinctures at the moment, so I cannot test that yet, but I will get some in the next few days to try.
So far so good, it seems to be pretty accurate. I have not yet tried measuring stronger tinctures which exceed the maximum reading of 15mg/ml, Ill have to make a super potent tincture this week. Those will require some dilution and a little math in order to measure but Im ok with that.
I notice that there are wear marks on the tray already (12 tests so far), but the marks don’t cover the lens or the dimple so I think its still ok. One of the (very few) reviews I read talked about this too. Not sure if that will be a problem in the future or not, and im not sure if they sell extra trays.
I attached some screens if anyone wants to se them.
Ok..........this is making me insane so I am going to get one.
I am super curious about the flower capabilities.
Flower testing isnt hard, just working on one now. Basically you do a qwet with a certain amount of flower and ethanol then measure the resulting ethanol. Minor math involved. Same with concentrates- you basically just dilute in ethanol at like 20:1 and scan the result. Again, minor math involved.
The kit has everything you need to do these tests, but any enterprising person can easily obtain the same stuff for less $$ if they want. But if you're one of those people who loves a package deal then go for it.
Theres a $25 off coupon available online, just google it.
Wiired do you have access to a Nova decaboxylator?
They claim 100% conversion to THC from THCa and I'd love to see some independent results.
I do not have a Nova, sorry. Until now I didn't even know it existed. (Had to google it)
If this is the tech involved, the results will be variable/inaccurate.
A qwet wash doesn't usually capture all of the essential oils/cannabinoids in one shot.
Can you elaborate on the process(length of soak etc.) and math/formulas used to calculate/quantify results?
I watched a video on youtube on how to test flower, no other instruction was available to me. More detailed instructions may come with the expansion kit, I'm not sure because I didn't buy it. The video says to use 100mg of flower and 10ml of alcohol, shake it up for a few minutes then measure the resulting liquid using the flower mode on the device. Pretty generic advice, but at least it was a starting point.
I have tried various soak times from 60 seconds upwards of 5 minutes. The sweet spot seems to be between 3 and 5 minutes, which seems to give the most accurate reading (I am using flower that was lab tested for reference so I could better gauge accuracy). This does, though, depend on the grind.
I tried with various consistencies from whole buds to completely powdered. Using very finely ground (damn near powdered) flower seems to work best in about 2 -3 minutes, but the resulting product cannot be used in the tcheck without first filtering (it will fail every time due to all the shit floating around). I also think too much chlorophyll from a longer soak makes it often fail the test - just an observation as it seemed the greener the alcohol the harder time testing.
Using whole bud was cleaner and typically didnt require filtering, but required closer to the 5 minutes for extraction. The finer the grind, the better chance of the test failing if you dont filter it first. I just use a 20 micron syringe filter (I read this on a review, dont know if its the best or not) to filter the alcohol before testing and everything seems to work just fine; Filtering = way less bad tests.
I also performed second washes on the remaining product to see what residual cannabinoid content remains. I found when using finely ground flower the second wash contained almost nothing but the whole buds still had a little bit (some more than others, but not a whole lot either way - usually less than 10-15%). Given this, I find I prefer a fine grind for testing as long as you have a filter. The fine plate of the Kannastor grinder gave me the best, most consistent results.
The process may not be perfect but the results did come within 15% accuracy for most of my testing. I did have a couple weird outliers though that were no where near what it should have been. Worth noting that almost all of these occurred when I did NOT filter the product.
Concentrate tests are done in the same manner but with 10mg of concentrate and 10ml of alcohol. Again, depending on the concentrate used you may have to filter to get a proper result. Dirty ass RSO does not test for shit without filtering but distillate worked fine without.
In the app, both the flower and the concentrate test has a place to input the amount of material used, but I just used the amount that the video said to use. Maybe ill try different amounts later, maybe not.
As for the math, there really is no other math involved. I fucked up and was originally using the Alcohol test feature thinking I needed it to test like a tincture and totally didnt even notice the "flower" test. I was able to do a flower test using the "Alcohol" test but that part requires math. Using the flower test was much easier - no math involved after all (almost like they meant for you to do that ). There's also a concentrate test button that I had completely missed as well...it really helps when I pay attention!
I did have an issue testing CBD isolate though, for some reason the first 2 times I tested it, it showed up as THC not CBD, although the percentage was right. Oddly, the 3 tests after that all said CBD. Not sure on that one.
My takeaways thus far:
-It seems to work within the stated margin of error (for the most part)
-Filtering is a must with flower and most concentrates - they should probably tell you this but they dont.
-Occasionally there is an off-the-wall result that doesnt seem anywhere near right so I would not rely on a single test just in case. I perform 3-5 tests and take the average.
-Perhaps not quite as accurate as the lab, but I dont have to pay $40 for each lab test. It has already paid for itself in my book.
-The plastic tray scratches easily but the sample wells are recessed and out of the way of those scratches, so I dont think it will effect the tests. I read that some people had issues of alcohol making their trays cloudy, but i have not experienced this. Just wash tray after use.
-Im happy with it so far!
What is the point of the testing? What do you do with the information? I'm pretty sheltered.
The point is to determine the THC content of your stuff, being flower, concentrates, or alcohol/oil infusions.
I don't really have the need to test flower much as it comes to me already tested. I mostly want to use it for measuring the potency of my infused oils and tinctures I make. Given that I can perform a pretty accurate guess knowing the content of my flower (which I typically do), I don't really NEED the tcheck but I like gadgets like this
Im sure its of much more benefit for someone who grows their own or gets their flower from an unknown source.
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