Handheld NIR Spectroscopy: Revolutionizing THC/CBD Cannabis Analysis

15. Apr 2024

In recent years, forensic science has witnessed significant advancements with the integration of technology in field operations. One such breakthrough is the use of portable Near-Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for the real-time forensic analysis of cannabis. This blog delves into a transformative approach introduced by researchers from the University of Lausanne and the University of Geneva, which combines the power of NIRLAB’s handheld NIR devices with cloud-based data processing.

The Study: Integrating NIR Spectroscopy with Cannabinoid testing

Overview of the Research The research focused on the application of NIRLAB’s portable NIR device that is connected to a cloud-based system for the analysis of cannabis. By enabling real-time data transmission and processing, this setup aids in differentiating between CBD-type and THC-type cannabis quickly and accurately.

Methodology and Findings The study analyzed over 250 cannabis samples collected from police seizures. Using the handheld NIR spectrometer and comparing the results with those obtained from ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC), the research confirmed the effectiveness of NIR technology in classifying cannabis types based on their cannabinoid content.

Benefits of Portable NIR Spectroscopy in Cannabis Testing

Enhancing Field Operations The use of handheld NIR spectrometers empowers law enforcement officers to perform immediate onsite tests, which is particularly beneficial in fast-paced environments where quick decision-making is required.

Improving Laboratory Efficiency By handling routine analyses onsite, handheld NIR devices reduce the workload on central laboratories. This allows lab personnel to focus on more complex tasks, thereby increasing overall efficiency and throughput.

Non-destructive and Accurate The non-destructive nature of NIR testing means that samples remain intact and can be used for further legal or scientific purposes. Moreover, the high accuracy of this method ensures reliable results, reducing the likelihood of errors in forensic analysis.


The integration of cloud-enabled handheld NIR spectroscopy in forensic science marks a significant step forward in the field’s technological evolution. As this technology continues to develop, it is expected to play a crucial role in not only forensic analysis but also in enhancing public health and safety measures related to drug consumption. You can discover the whole article below:

To explore more about spectroscopy and discover the full capabilities of NIRLAB’s technology, we invite you to read our other informative articles, here. Additionally, for personalized inquiries, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at contact@nirlab.com.

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