In the great state of Texas, hemp is legal and marijuana is not.
So, in order to help police instantly distinguish hemp from marijuana, Texas A&M AgriLife researchers found a way to re-purpose a hand-held spectrometer into a hemp scanner.
The distinction is based on levels of THC.
If a plant has less than 0.3% THC, it is classified as hemp. If it has more than that, it is classified as marijuana.
Raman Spectroscopy uses harmless laser light to illuminate structures within materials. Each materials scan is unique, just like a fingerprint. Therefore, it is possible to effectively “fingerprint THC“.
The researchers scanned thousands of marijuana and hemp plants to see how their Raman spectra differ.
They found 7 regions that consistently differ with 100% accuracy.
And so, the portable hand-held Hemp Scanner was born.