A laboratory worker studies cannabis plants

Hemp/Cannabis Initiative

Industrial Hemp is a relatively new and expanding program in all 50 states, including Connecticut. In 2018, the Federal Government passed a farm bill that officially legalized hemp production in the United States.

Industrial hemp, a non-intoxicating form of Cannabis, has the potential to be a valuable agricultural commodity due to its linkage to CBD oil production.  It can also be used to make a variety of commercial and industrial products, including rope, textiles, animal feed, paper, bioplastics, and biofuel.  Although marijuana and hemp are from the same species of plants (Cannabis spp.), they differ from a legal perspective based on THC content, with a threshold of 0.3% total THC (below, hemp; above, marijuana).  Additionally, many hemp products will be for human use or consumption, and require a comprehensive and rigorous series of analytical test for bioactive compounds, as well as for contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, and microbes. 

CESE has considerable capacity to support a diversity of research projects related to industrial hemp by providing expertise on the isolation and concentration of bioactive compounds, as well as a quantitative assessment of a wide array of associated compounds such as metals, pesticides and terpenes at the ultra-trace levels (ppb to ppt).  CESE is currently in process of becoming ISO17025 compliant. 

CESE can support research projects and testing by:

  • Providing total THC certification testing in support of hemp growers in the State.
  • Developing and validating industry-standardized methods for quality and potency testing of industrial hemp.Conducting analysis of metals, microbes, and pesticides in industrial hemp and its products.
  • Developing and conducting regional training programs for Cannabis processing and analysis.
  • Evaluating and developing active ingredient extraction and concentration technologies.
  • Evaluating active ingredient stability and degradation with regard to dosage and product storage conditions.

    Available Instrumentation


    Waters Acquity Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatograph Tandem Mass Spectrometer (UPLC/MS/MS) with an Ultraviolet Detector 
    Waters Quattro Micro Gas Chromatograph Tandem Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS/MS) 
    Perkin Elmer LC300 High Performance Liquid Chromatograph with an Ultraviolet and Fluorescence Detector 
    Perkin Elmer Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP/MS) 
    BioRad CFX96 Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) System 
    Genevac Automated Solvent Concentrator