Partner Webinar: Understanding Hemp vs Marijuana – and how to test for the difference

Partner Webinar: Understanding Hemp vs Marijuana – and how to test for the difference
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-04-14
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Understanding Hemp vs Marijuana
Unit 2 Transcript: Understanding Hemp vs Marijuana
Unit 3 Workbook: Understanding Hemp vs Marijuana
Unit 4 Recording: Understanding Hemp vs Marijuana

With more and more products being sold in the market that features hemp or CBD as an ingredient, distinguishing between hemp and illicit marijuana, CBD and THC, is causing some level of mix-up. The public is confused about whether what is being marketed is actually legal; the regulatory bodies are doing their best to educate on the federal and state guidelines; the enforcement entities are doing everything they can to ensure that they are not disrupting commerce of legal products while also upholding existing regulations.

This session’s resource panel are:

  • Michael Lee, Vice President of Swabtek
  • Ronald E. Brooks, founding member of Brooks Bawden Moore, LLC and a law enforcement veteran
  • Laura Sudkamp, Director of the Forensic Services Division for the Kentucky State Police
  • Bobby Betros, CEO of Swabtek

The webinar discussion covered:

  • The dilemma that enforcement and regulatory agencies are facing in terms of distinguishing illegal marijuana from legal hemp-based products.
  • The factors that must be taken into account to address this dilemma effectively through testing.
  • A deep dive on distinguishing hemp vs. marijuana.
    • Why you can’t distinguish by just looking because it’s the same plant and the solely chemical basis for the distinction.
    • The three primary parts of a hemp plant, and where the key chemical compounds can be found.
    • The unpredictable quality of the THC level on the plant depending on the time harvested and how it means all the difference between a compliant crop and illicit marijuana.
    • A brief look into the chemical structure that can be found on the plant and how this is converted into the high-inducing active ingredient through heat.
    • The federal government regulation on the THC level and the range and variance allowed to remain compliant.
  • Real-life example of the dilemma that law enforcement has when faced with the transport of products and verifying whether it is within the legal THC level or not.
    • The laboratory testing procedure to verify THC levels that tend to be cumbersome and time-consuming.
    • The limitations of traditional test kits that hinder the identification of whether a sample is hemp or illicit marijuana.
    • How these barriers can pose issues for the entities shipping actually legal crops and does not provide a deterrent for those growing illicit marijuana.
  • An overview of Swabtek and their line of presumptive narcotics and explosives test kits.
  • Swabtek’s solution for the enforcement and regulatory dilemma through their safe, easy-to-use, and accurate test kits that can be done on the scene to facilitate decision-making.
  • Live demonstration illustrating how Swabtek’s Cannabis and THC Test kits can verify cannabis and THC content on plant materials, oils, and even surfaces effectively in a matter of seconds.

The webinar audience had questions about:

  • Admissibility of the test in court.
  • Growing hemp indoors.
  • Which part of the plant to test for THC.
  • Medical marijuana production.
  • At what temperature THCA converts to THC.
  • The test samples that may and may not be used.
  • Differentiating between Delta-8 and Delta-9.
  • Shelf-life of the tests and potential for mold growing inside the package.
  • Cost of the test kit and availability in specific regions.


Other Webinars in this Series:


A Partner Webinar is a sponsored webinar with an organization that provides products or services to the criminal justice industry. 


Audience Comments

  • The difference between knowing how to distinguish hemp from marijuana and how to test for both. — Ann Marie
  • Since this is ever evolving topic I found it to be an good webinar. I will definitely reach out to the company to test their kits. — Aguilar
  • To actually see the process of testing to distinguish between Hemp and Marijuana was truly well worth this webinar!!! — Anthony
  • The education about the differences between hemp and THC marijuana plants was the most valuable thing I learned. Great webinar, thank you. — Ashlee
  • Specifics on how the two differ. The importance of chemical testing to confirm how to treat a plant when located. The simplicity of the testing process for the promoted product. — Lisa
  • The difference in Hemp, Marijuana, CBD and testing for such; New York has just signed legislation for legalizing marijuana for recreational us. This will be a challenge for Probation officers and our clients. The more I know the better I will be prepared for this change in legislation. Thank you ALL…Enjoyable andEdcuational — Reva



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