Thursday, 25 October 2012 22:41 Published in Services

What are terpenes?
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that endow cannabis with its unique scent. Terpene analysis is crucial for differentiating between strains of cannabis, as terpenes have a major influence on the medical and psychological effects of a plant. In fact, the relationship between cannabinoids and terpenoids, known as the “entourage effect,” ultimately distinguishes one strain of medical cannabis from another.

Why does terpene analysis matter?
Terpene analysis is beneficial for patients, providers, and breeders alike.

  • Understanding terpenes is essential to helping patients identify the right strain for their symptoms.
  • Terpene analysis allows collectives and budtenders to customise treatment programs for their clients and optimize a strain’s pharmacological effects.
  • Through understanding terpenes, breeders can selectively modulate the terpene ratios of their strains, in order to maximize desired benefits.

Over the past several decades, mass hybridization of cannabis has led to a high level of homogeneity across strains. As breeders focus on decreasing flowering times, increasing yields, and breeding for intoxicative properties, virtually all strains have developed similar cannabinoid profiles; they contain relatively high THC levels and scarce amounts of other cannabinoids. At present, nearly all differences between popular cannabis strains result from variations in terpene profiles. However, terpenes not only modulate the effects of THC, CDB, and other cannabinoids, but they also possess medicinal values of their own. When viewed holistically, it is these capabilities that produce the entourage effect.

How does SC Labs test for terpenes?
SC Labs uses gas chromatography with flame ionized detection (FID) to test over 35 commonly found terpenes. Our list currently includes:

  • Nerolidol
  • β-Pinene
  • p-Cymene
  • Isopulgeol
  • Geranyl acetate
  • Fenchol
  • Pulegone
  • Menthol
  • α-Humulene
  • α-Bisabolol
  • (+)-3-Carene
  • (-) Caryophyllene Oxide
  • α-Pinene
  • Eucalyptol
  • Myrcene
  • Terpinolene
  • β-Caryophyllene
  • Limonene
  • Geraniol
  • Linalool
  • (+)Valencene
  • Camphene
  • Sabinene
  • Guaiol
  • Phytol
  • Terpineol
  • Camphor
  • Isoborneol
  • α-Terpinene
  • α-Phellandrene
  • α-Cedrene

To learn more about these Terpenes visit our Terpene Education page. 


Wednesday, 06 April 2016 07:24 Published in Blog

SC Labs President and Co-Founder Joshua Wurzer to speak at Harvard Medical School

It’s conference season and this year Massachusetts-based Medicinal Genomics is bringing together the best and brightest in cannabis for CannMed 2016, a two-day event at Harvard Medical School. Keynote speakers include Raphael Mechoulam, the researcher who discovered THC and Orrin Devinsky, the lead investigator in GW Pharmaceuticals trials using Epidolex for Dravet Syndrome.

The conference comes at a unique time as the advent of sequencing technology has enabled personalized medicine allowing for a better understanding of the genetic regulation of the endocannabinoid system. Conference topics include the use of cannabinoid therapeutics in neurological disorders and the role of the endocannabinoid system in such disorders.

SC Laboratories President Joshua Wurzer will also be presenting a lecture entitled “Chemotypic and Quality Control Analysis of the California Medical Cannabis Market.” Medicinal Genomics also plans to present their hypothesis on the current state of the testing market and its potential impact on the diversity of the cannabis microbiome.

Where: The Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at the Harvard School of Medicine, Boston, MA
When: April 10-11, 2016
More info at:



Why Test?

Cannabis testing provides consumers with important information about the quality of their medicine. As is the case with all pharmaceutical companies, cannabis providers should be subject to third party certification. Why? The answer is obvious: credibility.

All Tests Are Not Equal

At SC Labs, all methods are consistent with FDA, ELAP, and EPA guidelines. It’s not enough to know that your medicine has been tested; you should also have access to the science behind it. For analytical testing to be reliable, established methods must be used and available for scientific scrutiny. For this reason, we provide detailed accounts of all our testing procedures upon request.