Lab On The Run: MyDx Analyzer And Sensor

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Lab On The Run: MyDx Analyzer And Sensor


MyDx is the first portable analyzer to enable consumers to determine the chemical components and purity of cannabis samples.

As marijuana consumers become more sophisticated about the drug itself, not to mention learn about different strains, cannabinoids in the plant and how the drug is produced, they are becoming more discerning customers.

MyDx is a product designed for a broad range of chemical analysis - food, water, air - but has a special app for the marijuana market and is the place where the company is focussing its first efforts. The Bluetooth-enabled, battery-powered analyzer uses nanotechnology developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to send electronic sensors through any substance placed in its receptacle. Users can place a small amount of cannabis into the sample receptor, connect the test device to their smart phone and press the “Start” button found on the smart phone software interface. The device then beams the chemical analysis and results into a mobile app (available both for iPhone and Android users and downloadable from the App Store and Google Play.) Users receive a chemical analysis within minutes.

AN ELECTRONIC “NOSE”

According to founder and company CEO Daniel Yazbeck, the device is an “electronic nose that sniffs chemicals and tells you what's in based on the other end, which is pattern recognition, algorithms, data, big data."

For marijuana users in particular, the device and the specialized software developed for this purpose can tell consumers about not only the kinds of cannabinoids present in test samples, but what kind of strain it resembles, what symptoms it can treat and effects it is likely to have. In other words, it is a portable lab (and then some) for a market where labeling and production techniques (including pesticide use) is either impossible or prohibitively expensive via other means. In the future, starting in the U.S., users will also be able to find nearby dispensaries and marijuana shops offering products fitting the sample’s chemical profile.

 

EZ test THC

 

MyDx is hardly cheap – introduced into the American market for $699 – but for discerning customers it is rapidly become a must-have. It creates the same kind of analysis that costs a great deal more in a more traditional lab – and for that reason is a valuable thing to have, even if pricey. Customers, beyond dedicated connoisseurs and medical users are obviously the large B2B market - specifically growers and distributors.

Developed by a former scientist at Pfizer, the device can return information on the THC, CBD, CBN, THCa, and CBDa cannabinoids in analyzed samples as well as more than 20 terpenes (the oils in the cannabis plant that both repel predators and attract pollinators). Terpenes also give marijuana its smell. Understanding about what they are and how they work is one of the leading areas of marijuana research beyond the actual cannabinoids right now. They may also impact the unique affects created by different marijuana strains.

DOES IT WORK?

Reviews of the product so far are mixed. Billed as the world’s first portable “lab” analyzer, some reviewers have pointed out that the product’s results differ (in some cases fairly significantly) from actual lab results.

The weak link in the first release, as its developers admit, is the detection and analysis of CBD – besides THC perhaps the most widely known cannabinoid in the plant. MyDx’s sensor cannot detect more than 1% of CBD in a sample, even if the content is higher. Future releases of the software will improve the device’s analysis ability.

A PRODUCT FOR THE TIMES

It is an interesting product, introduced at a time when consumers (of pot to food) are increasingly worried about the regulatory environment of the world around them, not to mention contaminants they are exposed to.

MyDx began to attract attention two years ago when it raised more than twice its goal amount on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo and then its first institutional funding round of $6.9 million last year. The first sensor to be released was the marijuana sensor and the company has now rolled out other applications and is clearly aiming for a more mainstream market, far beyond pot.

The product is available online and warrantied for six months, although it is designed to last for three years – or around 3,000 tests.

Replacement sensors are available for $69.95.

 

         
  Guest Writer  

Written by: Guest Writer
Occasionally we have guest writers contribute to our blog here at Zamnesia. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, making their knowledge invaluable.

 
 
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