Analyzing THC Isomers in Cannabis: An EAS Interview with Brandy Young

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Brandy Young, PhD, an analytical chemist with more than 15 years of experience, entered the cannabis industry in response to a recognized need for laboratory testing, aligning her expertise with the emerging demand in New York's active medical and adult-use cannabis programs. Here, she shares some background information on her talk at the Eastern Analytical Symposium (EAS), which delves into the characterization of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) isomers in cannabis products.

At the Eastern Analytical Symposium (EAS) in Plainsboro, New Jersey, Cannabis Science and Technology sat down with Brandy Young, PhD, CEO and Founder of Certainty Analytical Labs to discuss her research and career in cannabis and analytical chemistry.

Young has worked in analytical chemistry for more than 15 years, initially working in the pharmaceutical industry and academia. She entered the cannabis industry after identifying a growing need for laboratory testing, especially with the expansion of medical and adult-use programs in New York. Recognizing the synergy between her expertise and the emerging demand, Young ventured into the cannabis sector to address the anticipated need for analytical services.

Regarding her EAS talk titled "The Characterization of Δ9-THC Enantiomers in Various Cannabis Products," Young discussed her passion for isomer analysis. Drawing from her graduate work at Purdue University, where she used mass spectrometry to differentiate isomers, she now extends that knowledge to the cannabis industry. The focus of her talk is on identifying and characterizing THC isomers, particularly an extension of a seminal paper that previously identified cis-trans THC molecules in cannabis products.

Young emphasized the evolution of the industry, noting that products are now more curated and dialed in. The ongoing research aims to add additional isomers, develop robust analytical methods, and contribute to the understanding of THC variations in cannabis products. Young highlighted the importance of characterizing products for consumers who seek consistent and compliant options in the marketplace. She also stressed the role of the laboratory in helping customers understand the composition of their products, not only in terms of THC content but also in identifying specific THC isomers. The overarching goal of her work is to provide consumers with accurate information about the products they consume and contribute to the overall improvement of manufacturing processes in the cannabis industry.

For more on Young's talk at EAS read our coverage here.

Watch Part II of Young's interview to hear her advice on overcoming challenges in the industry.