Mission Statement

CannaCal Laboratories

The exciting new world of legalized cannabis availability in California has created a need for better techniques for the quantization of potency in cannabis products. It is our mission to provide the best methodology for the home user to determine both the content and the amount of cannabinoids in their particular products without having to pay the premium prices required by a commercial laboratory for analysis.

We are science based. Our techniques use appropriate technology  and provides the benefit of accurate and precise measurements at minimal cost per sample. The user can  test his/her own samples and compare their validated results with those obtained from a commercial laboratory and be confident in their results. 

Cannabinoids Analyzed

The methodology we currently teach is only applicable for the naturally-occurring cannabinoids. The primary identified cannabinoids include:   CBD, CBN, CBG, CBC, and THC. 

Cannabinoic acids do not resolve in this system.

Research studies indicate that Thin Layer Chromatographic analysis (TLC) is comparable to much more sophisticated techniques like Gas Chromatography (GC) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) obtained through licensed laboratories that do analysis of cannabis metabolites.

Most current technologies only identify CBD and THC. Further research will provide additional identification of resolved chromatographic spots.

Upon request, clients can submit samples to CannaCal Labs for analysis if they don't want to do the analyses themselves. See Class Scheduling and Payment Section.

A more complete analysis of cannabinoids is beyond the scope of this basic training. Please do not inquire about synthetics as the TLC methodology is not optimized to work for them.

Analysis Training

Currently we are providing training in only one type of analysis. Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is a very popular and useful procedure for anyone wanting to test product for potency. 

Training is offered as group workshops (maximum of  15 students per class) and/or individually in Ventura/Santa Barbara County upon request. 

Contact CannaCal Laboratories for quotes for individual or group training outside of the Ventura/Santa Barbara County area.

We currently support TLC analysis kits from TLC Lab Supply but offer our training to anyone who is interested in TLC analysis of cannabinoids. We will provide the information you need in all aspects of TLC analysis.

TLC allows a fast and easy way to measure  cannabinoids and potency. The certification that comes with successful completion of the basic class will provide you with the confidence you want in doing your analyses.

 Access the TLC Lab Supply website with the button below. There is much extra information that you might enjoy.

Advanced classes using more sophisticated topics will be added as demand warrants.        

About Us

What We Do

Cannabinoid TLC Training using  your own TLC  kit materials according to standard practice.

Specific analytical devices may be added at a later date which have different applicability in certain situations.

We provide personalized, hands-on training of techniques and troubleshooting in finding solutions to your questions.

 TLC provides both qualitative and quantitative analysis of cannabinoids in all products you may have.

What Can You Test

Samples That Can Be Tested

  • Plant Material
  • Beauty & Skin Care Products
  • Oils & Waxes
  • Tinctures
  • Batter
  • Shatter
  • Beverages
  • Edibles

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CannaCal Laboratories serving Southern California.

 Contact CannaCal Laboratories for further information and class availability.

If you can't come to one of our scheduled basic classes, we can come to you and provide the training you want.

We provide training throughout California, Nevada and Arizona if requested. Call for estimates.


Eugene Trousdale - Principle Scientist

Extensive experience in natural products chemistry and synthetic organic chemistry over an 18 year career in academic chemical research. As a research chemist with the Department of Viticulture and Enology (University of California, Davis Campus), responsible for the isolation and characterization of anthocyanins, phenolics and flavanoids in grapes and wines utilizing such methodologies as thin layer chromatography (TLC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) as both identification tools and in the development of analytical methods for quantitation and profiling various grape cultivars and wine types. Later joined the Department of Plant Pathology and worked 5 years on developing methods for analyzing plant mycotoxins in tomatoes.

TLC experience includes both analytical and preparative methodologies with various stationary phases, mobile phases, and visualization techniques in dealing with complex plant mixtures and yeast metabolic studies.

After leaving the university, worked for the California Department of Food & Agriculture as a pesticide chemist working with fruits and vegetables using both HPLC and Gas Chromatography (GC) as the primary analytical techniques.

Taught both general and organic chemistry at the university level and have significant experience working with students in achieving their goals in mastering good laboratory technique.

Education includes a B.A. degree in Cell & Molecular Biology (San Francisco State University), M.S. degree in Organic and Natural Products Chemistry (San Francisco State University), and post-graduate research in the Chemistry Department at UC Davis working on marine natural products. Published over 35 scientific articles in the chemical literature. Made presentations at scientific meetings sponsored by the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Viticulture and Enology.

Colin Trousdale - Staff Chemical Analyst

Graduate of California State University, Monterey Bay with a B.A. in Computer and Information Science. M.S. in Biotechnology from California State University, Channel Islands.

Laboratory experience working with macromolecules in the Biotech Industry with an emphasis in cell culture, HPLC of proteins and X-ray crystallographic techniques.  Knowledge in computer systems and computer network administration, social media, and computer programming.

Extensive experience in sampling and analysis by TLC of cannabis products. Systems and database manager at CannaCal Laboratories.

Why Chromatography?

What is Thin Layer Chromatography?


Chromatography means "color writing" originally performed separating plant pigments like chlorophyll by the Russian botanist,  Mikhail Semyonovich Tswett (1872-1919).

Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) is a chromatographic technique used to separate non-volatile mixtures. It is performed on solid backing (referred to as a plate) which is coated with a thin layer of adsorbent material  This layer of adsorbent is known as the stationary phase

After the sample has been applied on the plate, a solvent or solvent mixture (known as the mobile phase ) moves up the plate via capillary action.  Because different analytes move up the TLC plate at different rates, separation is achieved. 

The mobile phase has different chemical properties from the stationary phase which accounts for the separation.

How Does Thin Layer Chromatography Work?


Different compounds in the sample mixture travel at different rates due to the differences in their attraction to the stationary phase and because of differences in solubility in the solvent. By changing the solvent (mobile phase), or perhaps using a mixture of solvents, the separation for the complex mixture of components can be adjusted. 


The movement of a component is measured as the Rf which is determined as the distance in mm the component has moved relative to the solvent front.

Rf = [distance migration  of component (mm)]/ [distance migration  of solvent front (mm)]

The Rf value is unique for a  component in a mixture relative to the stationary phase and the mobile phase.

Visualization of the separated components can be made through various techniques if not readily visible like with pigments.

How does TLC Differ from the Other Major Chromatography Techniques Used in Cannabis Analysis?


Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) is the basic chromatographic technique. It is simple and uncomplicated.

A variation on TLC is Column Chromatography where the stationary phase is placed in a tube with a outlet. The sample is applied to the top of the column and eluted with the mobile phase. Volumes of eluent are collected and later analyzed for the various separated components.

A more sophisticated variation on the column chromatography concept is High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) where there is an enclosed system with a solvent reservoir, an injection system to introduce the non-volatile sample, a column with the stationary phase, a detection system, and data analysis system. The mobile phase is pumped through the system at high pressure. The detection system is usually non-destructive (see GC following section)

The final major chromatographic technique is Gas Chromatography (GC) where the stationary phase is a viscous liquid coating the inner wall of a very narrow column and mobile phase is a inert gas. The volatile sample is introduced similar to that in the HPLC system and heated to vaporize it before being introduced to the column. The sample components usually pass through a detection system that destroys the analyte and a data system records the results like with the HPLC.

Medical Cannabis

What is the scientific history of Medical Cannabis?

 Cannabis was a part of the American pharmacopoeia until 1942 and is currently available by prescription in the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, and Israel in its whole plant form. In 1937, the U.S. passed the first federal law against cannabis, despite the objections of the American Medical Association (AMA). Dr. William C. Woodward, testifying on behalf of the AMA, told Congress that, "The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marijuana is a dangerous drug" and warned that a prohibition "loses sight of the fact that future investigation may show that there are substantial medical uses for Cannabis."

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and Americans for Safe Access Foundation (ASAF) 

Other Resources

Cannabis and Cannabinoid Science Education Resource Center

Reference information from EVIO Labs.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, October 20, 2018

TLC Workshop

9:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Ventura, CA

+ Event Details

Saturday, October 20, 2018

TLC Workshop

Intensive TLC Workshop for potency testing.

Seating is limited.

9:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Ventura, CA

Saturday, October 27, 2018

TLC Workshop

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Thousand Oaks, CA

+ Event Details

Saturday, October 27, 2018

TLC Workshop

Intensivw TLC Workshop for potency testing.

Seating is limited.

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Thousand Oaks, CA

Consulting Services

CannaCal Laboratories provides chemical consulting services to  people in extraction, distillation, and purification of product. These services are primarily designed for the home grower and user who want to go beyond simple chemical potency analysis.

If there is interest, we may develop classes to describe the theory and practice of these techniques.

We are not a commercial service for industrial scale production.

Call for quote.

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Basic TLC Training -- -- Now Taking Reservations

Send Us an Email if You are Interested in a Class or Personal Training in Your Area

CannaCal Laboratories

1746 S. Victoria Blvd #F295, Ventura, CA 93003 United States



CannaCal Laboratories is not responsible for any misuse of the TLC kits. We teach proper use and safety. These kits contain hazardous materials and require proper handling procedures in the use and disposal of materials.