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Cannabis and Hemp Analysis -- Test for the ENTIRE California Pesticide List at once using the PerkinElmer Qsight

Jul 04, 2018

High-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has emerged as the method of choice for pesticide and mycotoxin analysis in cannabis. Traditionally, pesticides are screened using two analytical instruments: GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS. However, most of the studies for the two system technology approach either do not achieve California State action-limits or require multiple time-consuming sample preparation methods. Not so with PerkinElmer’s QSight 220 Pesticide Analyzer. Utilizing a single instrument and single prep method, our method is rapid and reliable— suitable for labs wanting to comply with stringent regulations. The recovery of all pesticides and mycotoxins from a cannabis matrix is consistently in the State of California’s acceptable range of 70-120% with RSD less than 20%. This method allows identification and quantification of all 66 pesticides and five mycotoxins at levels well below action limits (0.005 to 0.25 µg/g). The ability to screen and quantitate the hydrophobic and chlorinated compounds normally analyzed on a GC-MS/MS, as well as the five mycotoxins, makes this a novel technique for the cannabis industry.

Highlights of the Turnkey Method for Pesticide and Mycotoxin Analysis:

- Analysis of all California regulated pesticides and mycotoxins on a single LC-MS/MS

- Eliminates the need for GC-MS/MS by using APCI source (APCI used for PCNB and Chlordane)

- StayClean technology addresses matrix-induced maintenance issues in the MS instrument and improves throughput

- A method with LOQs below the state of California action limits that is reliable and reproducible

- Simple and fast sample preparation procedure with acceptable recoveries for all analytes)

- Dual source, ESI/APCI, removes the need for two instrument platforms in a lab

- Complete application includes analysis of mycotoxins and pesticides with one instrument (sample preparation, chromatography, and mass spectrometry)


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