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Electronic Nose Nano-Technology

Electronic Nose Nano-Technology

Who’s Paying Attention?

With no federal oversight at this point, each state is responsible for defining its own regulations and requirements surrounding cannabis testing, from the plant to the finished cannabis product. What has resulted is a fragmented and disjointed system that is, despite the best intentions, failing the very people it’s trying to protect. New Mexico can’t meet the demand for testing laboratories. In 2015, Colorado had more than a dozen product recalls due to pesticide contamination, despite having testing guidelines in place. What the labs are testing for, how they’re testing, and the information reported to the patient or consumer is inconsistent at best and unreliable at worst.

From process inconsistency and human error to ‘gaming the system’, commercial lab testing is volatile at the moment. There are good, credible labs and there are those who lack technical acumen. There are labs that unethically provide clients with the results they desire and expect rather than ones that are honest and accurate. For those driven by profiteering, it is shockingly easy to manipulate results; shake the bag of cannabis until the trichomes (those tiny crystals that cover the buds and are rich in THC) collect at the bottom. Smear a bud in them, start the test, and voila! High numbers! Profit motivation aside, sampling errors, flawed testing practices, and technical inconsistencies can also affect results substantially.

Some testing labs are even being driven out of business simply because they report honest results, rather than the results clients want. Time and time again a producer will abandon an honest testing lab for reporting “bad” results and test the same product at a competitor who passes and certifies every batch with “good” results (i.e. high in THC content). This lack of regulation can lead to a volatile environment where honest labs are put out of business by labs that are willing to give clients their desired results. Add to this the natural biochemical complexity of cannabis and the varying regulations and legislations that govern these labs, and getting honest, accurate, and reliable results that users can trust and verify seems out of reach at the moment.

That said, for the fortunate few who have easy access to cannabis testing facilities, they should take a moment to recognize and commend these labs for undertaking the risks involved with working with a Schedule 1 Drug. Furthermore, stepping outside of the United States, in many regions of world, it is practically impossible to test cannabis samples because there are no labs to support such analysis.



Being able to test the chemical profile of your garden as it grows or testing cannabis potency for your dispensary patron’s right before their eyes. That is the kind of transparency and convenience that we can all rally behind and it will allow anyone to test their cannabis at any time.


Technically Speaking…

Built from a combination of patented technologies originally developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and implemented by NASA, this portable analyzer by MyDx uses electronic nose nano-technology to ‘sniff out’ chemicals in nearly any solid, liquid, or gas form. This technology essentially mimics the human sense of smell wherein chemical vapors are analyzed and converted into electrical signals that are then interpreted by the brain. 

By using a variety of sensors that are coated with different sensor films, we are able to detect numerous analytes due to their varying reactions at those sensors. This sensor profile response can then be correlated to the characteristics of a specific analyte. Each individual sensor can be thought of as a unique sensor film coated on an electrode in an array of sensors that have different formulated coatings. A suitably produced sensor array will result in a unique profile of Delta R/ R0 responses (resistance change) for each analyte measured by the low noise analyzer components. There is a unique sensor array response to the profiles. At 8-bit resolution, more than 1048 distinct profiles are theoretically possible for a 16-sensor array.

Wow! Did you get all that? Take a look at the full White Paper Report if you dare.


The Nose Always Knows

Basically we engineered the analyzer to act as a portable electronic nose that is able to detect molecules in vapor. When a cannabis sample is placed into the MyDx testing chamber, it is analyzed using our gas-flow-over-the-sensor system that supports the chemical release process, essentially volatilizing the compounds for analysis by our formulated polymer based sensors.

The vapors cause swelling, which induces quantifiable resistance changes at a sensitivity up to 500 parts per billion. Within minutes, an in-depth analysis of the sample is sent to the CannaDx App, including exactly what the information means and why users should care.

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Why should we care?

Our bodies have 1,000 chemically different types of odorant receptors. A single receptor recognizes multiple odorants and a single odorant is recognized by multiple receptors. Odorants may be identified by pattern combinations of activated receptors.

It is these receptors that provide the essential and necessary reactions that determine an “outcome/ result” that will help with providing Therapeutic Effects. On the flip side it is also important for consumers to test samples of food, air, water, and cannabis in order to identify chemicals of interest.

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