tCheck 2 Potency Testing FAQ

Do you have questions about testing with tCheck 2? This post will help.

This post was taken from here in March 2021.

tCheck 2 potency testing FAQ
Can I test honey?

We get asked a lot if our tCheck 2 device will test infused honey. The simple answer is no.

With respect to cannabis, honey can be used as the sweet stuff from bees and it can also be a reference to honey oil.

Honey, the sweet stuff made by bees, cannot be tested by tCheck. Because honey is predominantly water-based and cannabinoids do not readily dissolve in water, we have had difficulties creating a stable, homogeneous honey infusion. While there are nano-encapsulants designed to allow cannabinoids to be dissolved in water-based solutions, the process to create the nano-encapsulated infusion is quite complex.

In the cannabis world the term “honey”, is also known as “honey-oil” or “hash oil” and that is supported by the tCheck 2.

Here is a good explanation:

Can I test RSO or FECO?

No, we do not test RSO or FECO at this time. Note that we are working on it but do not have an ETA when this enhancement feature will be released.

F.E.C.O., also know as Full Extract Cannabis Oil. FECO has become the industry’s preferred label for this type of cannabis concentrate. FECO is a highly concentrated, whole-plant extract that is known to provide one of the broadest spectrums of cannabinoids and terpenes available – the components responsible for the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Due to this fact, many consider FECO to be one of the most potent and versatile medical cannabis treatment options as it offers the largest range of cannabinoids and terpenes to boost each other’s effects based on the entourage effect. FECO most often is prepared in the form of an edible oil syringe or supplemental capsules. FECO is made with grain alcohol or ethanol.

Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO, is a concentrated form of cannabis that is often mistaken for FECO, due to its similarities. RSO is often a very dark color, and can come in oil syringes or supplemental capsules. RSO is extracted from isopropyl alcohol.
FECO and RSO are most often utilized by those patients that need significant pain and inflammation relief, in addition to cancer, HIV/AIDS, and any type of wasting syndrome patients that can benefit from more concentrated amounts of THC.

What is meant by accuracy?

tCheck devices are calibrated with these accuracy limits:

Infusions made using concentrates +/- 2mg/ml
Infusions made using flower +/- 3mg/ml
Concentrates +/- 3 percentage points
Flower +/- 3 percentage points

For example, if your flower is actually 17% total cannabinoids, tCheck may display a result between 14~20%.

Can I test my Everclear or vodka tincture?

tCheck is able to measure any alcohol tincture made using Everclear, vodka, or clear alcohol. Tinted or flavoured alcohols such as whiskey or rum will interfere with the measurement and produce unreliable results.

We recommend high percentage alcohol, above 80 proof. Cannabinoids do not dissolve well into aqueous or water-based solvents. 80 proof is 40% alcohol and 60% water.

Can tCheck measure heat press dabs or infusions made using heat pressed dabs?

Unfortunately, not at this time. Our engineers and scientists are further investigating the possibility of adding this capability to tCheck, however, we cannot guarantee that we will be successful. Please stay tuned for our progress!

Heat press dabs are also known as rosin or live rosin. It is made by squeezing the cannabis plant with a hot compressor such as a hair iron. Rosin is considered a non-winterized concentrate. In other words, in addition to the cannabinoids and terpenes, rosin also contains waxes, lipids, and other compounds found in all plants. These waxes and lipids will throw off tCheck’s measurement.

What is MCT?

MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. This is a form of coconut oil that has been fractionated or separated from the long-chain triglycerides. MCT coconut oil stays liquid at room temperature.

tCheck is able to measure infused MCT coconut oil as well as ‘regular’ coconut oil.

Make sure your coconut oil or MCT is food grade. Any material that is for external use only will damage the tray.

I tested an empty tray (no oil or plain oil) and tCheck showed a measurement result.  Why?

tCheck assumes that there is some liquid in the tray during measurement and measures the darkness of the liquid. Liquids in the tray act as a lens and direct more light onto the sensors than air. This is a little like looking through an empty jar versus a jar filled with water. The filled jar magnifies the image slightly because of the way light bends through the water.

Does the tCheck 2 device measure hemp?

tCheck is able to measure ‘total cannabinoids’ in hemp or high CBD strains. tCheck is not able to separate the cannabinoids to measure just the THC or THCa content in hemp.

For example, if your plant has:

THCa 15.2%
CBDa 1.5%
tCheck will only report the total amount of 16.7%.

Can the tCheck 2 device measure hemp flower infusions?

No. tCheck can only measure marijuana (high THC) infusions. It cannot measure infusions made using hemp or high CBD strains. tCheck can measure infusions made using CBD concentrates such as isolate, crumble, distillate, etc.

Can I measure hash/kief infused oils?

Our tCheck 2 device will test winterized hash oil. It will not test “bubble hash” infused into an oil like coconut or butter.

How do I test decarbed flower?

Our tCheck 2 device only tests non-decarbed raw flower under the Raw Flower (Not Decarbed) test. If your raw flower is decarbed – we do not support that testing option.

What types of cannabis products can tCheck test?

Decarbed Flower Infusion – choose this option if you used some sort of cannabis plant material to make your infusion. For example, buds, trim, sugar leaf, or shake. Please keep in mind that tCheck can only test your infusion if the plant material is fully decarboxylated or activated.

Isolate Infusion – choose this option if you made your infusion using some sort of winterized concentrate. For example: isolate, shatter, diamonds, crumble, distillate, honey oil (hash oil), or crystalline. Most concentrates you purchase from a dispensary are winterized, meaning that all of the plant waxes, lipids, and chlorophyll has been removed. The exceptions to this are FECO, RSO, and rosin. On one of the subsequent screens, the app will ask you whether the concentrate has been decarbed or activated. When the infusion is made with a concentrate, tCheck can test whether it has been fully decarbed or not decarbed. Sorry, it cannot test material that is only partially decarbed.
There may be a bit of confusion between this and the “Concentrate” test. Choose:
“Isolate infusion” if you are testing some sort of oil or alcohol tincture with concentrates mixed into it; or
“Concentrate” test if you are testing the concentrate directly and not an oil or tincture.

Raw Flower (not decarbed) – choose this option if you want to test your raw dried flower before it goes into an infusion. In order to use this capability, you’ll need the “Flower & Concentrate Expansion Kit” as it has the precision scale and reagents needed to run this test.

Concentrate – choose this option if you want to test your winterized concentrates such as isolate, shatter, diamonds, etc. In order to use this capability, you’ll need the “Flower & Concentrate Expansion Kit” as it has the precision scale and reagents needed to run this test.

Olive Oil – This actually means Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Non-Extra Virgin oils may be blended with other types of oils which may result in a slightly higher than expected reading.

Coconut Oil – This includes both regular coconut oil as well as MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) coconut oil. Regular coconut oil must be in a liquid melted state. DO NOT heat base material while in the tray.

Butter – When measuring butter, be sure to use only a clear part of the butter without any milk solids. This measurement type includes ghee or clarified butter. If using butter, it must be in a liquid melted state. DO NOT heat base material while in the tray.

Alcohol – Any clear alcohol such as Everclear or vodka with a minimum of 120 proof. Alcohols that are tinted or colored (i.e., rum, bourbon, brandy) will throw off the reading.

I made clarified butter out of salted butter instead of unsalted. Could that make a difference in my results?

Yes, you’ll want to make sure you use clarified, unsalted butter for testing.

Will regular butter work or does it have to be clarified?

All butter tested in our device needs to be clarified butter or you can use ghee. Salted butter products will not work with our device. Clarified butter has a higher smoke point (485 °F or 252 °C) than regular butter (325-375 °F or 163-190 °C), and is therefore preferred. Clarified butter also has a much longer shelf life than fresh butter. It has negligible amounts of lactose and casein.

What is ghee?

Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in India and is commonly used in South Asian (Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepali, Sri Lankan, and Pakistani) cuisine and rituals.

What is the difference between butter and ghee?

A comparison of the two is provided below, and while some may say they are similar the two ingredients are actually very different. Ghee is butter minus the milk solids and water. During the cooking process, milk proteins and water are removed, resulting in a butter-like spread made of almost 100 percent pure butterfat.

What is so special about ghee?

While ghee takes longer to make than some other types of clarified butter, it retains more vitamins and nutrients thanks to its low-heat preparation. Ghee also tastes good, so it can make some healthy but unappetizing foods more palatable.

Do I need to refrigerate ghee?

Ghee Is Extremely Shelf Stable. Because there is no water in ghee, bacteria won’t grow there, so you can skip refrigeration. If your ghee gets tainted with water or food, then refrigerate; it’ll be fine for future use.

What is clarified butter?

Clarified butter is milk fat rendered from butter to separate the milk solids and water from the butterfat. Typically, it is produced by melting butter and allowing the components to separate by density. The water evaporates, some solids float to the surface and are skimmed off, and the remainder of the milk solids sink to the bottom and are left behind when the butterfat (which would then be on top) is poured off.

How long does it take to clarify butter?

There are two methods for taking the milk solids out of butter to clarify it. If you’re clarifying more than a couple of pounds, do what they do in restaurants:
1. Melt the butter in a pot on the stove (ideally, the pot should be tall and narrow to make skimming easier), let it sit, and skim off the froth with a ladle.
2. Discard the froth and ladle out the pure, golden clarified butter. Don’t reach too far down in the pot with the ladle or you’ll bring up water and milk solids that have settled to the bottom.
It’s worth making more than you need since clarified butter keeps for months in the fridge and forever in the freezer. If you’re only clarifying a pound or two [450 to 900 g] of butter, cook the butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
3. The butter will froth and bubble as the water in the butter boils away. (Butter is about 30 percent water.) After about 5 minutes, keep a close eye on the butter—tilt the pan and look at the bottom, where some of the milk solids will cling.
4. When the milk solids coagulate, first into white specks, then lightly brown ones, remove the butter from the heat and set the bottom of the saucepan in a bowl of cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking.
5. Pour the butter into another container, leaving the golden brown milk solids clinging to the saucepan. Or if you’re being fastidious, strain the butter through a fine-mesh strainer, a triple layer of cheesecloth, or a coffee filter.
For smaller batches here’s how:
1. Place the butter in a 2-quart saucepan and set over medium heat.
2. Once the butter has liquefied, decrease the heat to the lowest setting then adjust to maintain a low boil.
3. Cook for approximately 45 minutes or until the butter reaches 126 degrees C, is clear, and the foam on top is slightly browned.

What is the best temperature to test butter or coconut oil?

Butter and some coconut oils solidify as they cool, and they will not test properly in the tCheck 2 device. Make sure your infusion is still in its liquified state before inserting the tray into your tCheck 2 device.

The optimum temperature to maintain a solid material in the liquid state is:
85°F – 120°F
29.44°C – 48.889°C

Here is the formula:
(X°F − 32) × 5/9 = X.XXX°C

Will the tCheck 2 device test my gummies?

No, it will not. In order to test in the tCheck 2 device, your material must be liquid and one of our four (4) supported base materials.
Butter (Ghee)
Coconut oil (MCT)
Extra Virgin Olive oil (EVOO); or
Alcohol (minimum of 120 proof or higher. Alcohols that are tinted or coloured (i.e., rum, bourbon, brandy) will throw off the reading.

Note if you are using butter or coconut oil –
Make sure it stays liquid.
Make sure NO solids start to form.
Do not heat your butter or coconut oil in the tray or it will become damaged.

Will this unit measure infusions made with MCT oil or does it just consider coconut oil?

It will work with both coconut oil and MCT under the Coconut Oil Setting. Make sure your MCT is made from 100% pure coconut oil.

What is MCT oil made from?

MCT oil is a byproduct of coconut or palm kernel oil that is produced by extracting pure MCTs from the whole food. Coconut oil is the primary source for MCT oil, but palm kernel oil is also very common, making up nearly 34 percent of MCT oil production.
Note – Our device may not work if your MCT is derived from palm kernel oil. So make sure the label on your MCT is made from 100% pure coconut oil.

Does it matter if my coconut oil is organic or not?

No. Just make sure it is food grade. If you see a label on the product that says “for external use only” DO NOT use it in our testing tray. It will damage the tray.

What do I do when I keep getting a less than 1% error message when testing fresh flower?

This is an error that can happen if the wrong weight has been entered. Please check the weight of your flower and try again. You may need to set the unit of weight correctly first. If the flower material is wet or damp when weighed, let it dry first before weighing – then trying again.

How do I test resins?

On your tCheck 2 device run a test using the concentrate setting.

Which flower based infusions can I test?

The flower-based infusions you can test with the tCheck 2 device are:
Ghee / Clarified Butter
Coconut Oil / MCT Oil
Use food-grade only Coconut Oil or MCT.
Do not use coconut oil that is for topical use or the tray will become damaged. Check your product label and make sure it does not say “external use only”.
See FAQs for tray use and care
Alcohol –
Alcohol must be clear, and a minimum of 120 proof or higher.
Do not use flavored alcohol (you can blend your infusion after testing) or tests will not be accurate.
Alcohols that are tinted or colored (i.e., rum, bourbon, brandy) will throw off the reading.)

We are working on the enhanced release to test Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) infusions.
If you need to test a flower-based infusion of EVOO there is a 2-step process you can do. Just look for the 2-step process in the FAQs.
Never mix 2 base materials together to test. Test one at a time – then once you have your results – you can blend them.
Always make sure to use pure extra virgin olive oil, butter, coconut oil, or alcohol (minimum of 120 proof or higher).
Mixing 2 supported bases together to test, or mixing something into the base (i.e., lecithin, essential oils, extracts) before testing will nullify results, and may cause tray damage.