tCheck Potency Tester: 2020 Review and Buyer's Guide

tCheck 2 is the latest iteration of Engineered Medical Technologies potency tester and boasts new features and upgraded testing capabilities.

Potency testing is easier than ever before with tCheck, a device that makes it simple and quick to know how potent an infusion, concentrate, or even flower is.

No matter if you are someone looking to know more about what they are consuming, an edible maker trying to keep potency consistent throughout batches, a grower looking to quickly test new hybrids, or a caretaker making small batches for medical use, tCheck makes it a breeze to test cannabinoid potency. tCheck 2 is the latest iteration of Engineered Medical Technologies potency tester and boasts new features and upgraded testing capabilities.

The tCheck 2 base unit can test a wide variety of cannabis infusions, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and alcohol. Upgrade with the official expansion kit to test bud, trim, as well as concentrates. Test any of these to get potency results in under six minutes or quicker. Top that off with a slick mobile app that expands functionality and allows for future additional features to be released, and you have a device that sets the standard for potency testing.

tCheck

Who is tCheck For?

The tCheck 2 shines on virtue of its flexibility. If you or your business is involved with the cannabis industry, there is a good chance that a tCheck would be a benefit in ensuring homogenization throughout production.

This device is useful for just about anyone using or working with cannabis; however, there are two main groups that tCheck markets their product towards. Edible makers, who use tCheck to control cannabinoid content and loss throughout production, and growers, who use tCheck to rapidly test new varietals and measure cannabinoid development progress.

tCheck For Edible Makers

tCheck wants edible makers to be able to focus on making the best products possible while reducing the stress of ensuring desired potency. Especially when developing an initial product catalog or expanding a product line, edible makers can benefit from the fast and efficient testing of tCheck.

Test butter, coconut oil, olive oil, or clear alcohol tinctures and get quick potency results. Researching and developing a new line of edibles can be challenging if you have to keep waiting on lab results or rely on inaccurate methods like testing strips. tCheck allows makers to test infusions and adjust a recipe within minutes. For kitchens already producing edibles, tCheck can be invaluable to quickly test a batch of infusion and ensure consistency.

Thanks to the wide variety of cannabinoid mediums that tCheck supports, makers can rely on the accurate test results for almost any product in their catalog. The tCheck app also features a handy calculator to find the correct ratios of infused oil, butter, or alcohol tincture on the fly using the testing results from the tCheck. For an edible maker, the tCheck can be a game changer speeding up new product development and managing day-to-day potency consistency.

tCheck For Growers:

Growers know that potency is a key factor in choosing when to harvest and in designing new strains. That’s why the tCheck expansion kit was created, to allow bud and trim to be tested for total cannabinoid content. Growers can determine the amount of cannabinoids in their crop in under 5 minutes using just a dried, pea-sized nug.

Improving strains and hybrids is easier for growers as they can quickly measure potency along the crop’s lifetime. A/B testing a crop? tCheck lets growers compare the progress of different growing methods without having to send a sample to the lab and twiddle their thumbs until the results come back.

For smaller operations, the tCheck is especially appealing with less than a 500 dollar investment, the device will practically pay for itself after a handful of uses. Some of the most powerful testimonials for tCheck are from small growers that were now able to have confidence in their product after having to estimate for years.

Medium-scale grow operations also stand to benefit from the tCheck as well. Given that the tCheck itself can fit in your pocket and the necessary equipment from the expansion kit takes up less room than a small book, growers can individually measure potency wherever their work takes them. Growers both big and small should consider tCheck to measure potency and improve their product.

Watch: Introducing tCheck

What Can tCheck Do? (And How)

Let’s break down what the device is capable of and how to use it. The tCheck is a potency testing device that measures the concentration of THC, CBD or an aggregate of total cannabinoids depending on whether a concentrate, flower, or infusion is being tested.

Why is potency testing important? Potency testing allows producers of cannabis goods to accurately ensure that they are providing the highest quality of product, while also helping those producers to refine their methods. Accurate and frequent potency testing also aids in keeping customers safe, informing them of the exact potency of the product they are consuming. Finally, potency testing is useful for staying in line with various local regulations on cannabinoid content. No more guessing on how strong something will be when you can test it with the tCheck.

Testing Butter Infusions

A longtime favorite for both professional edible producers and home cooks, butter is a classic way to infuse cannabis into a dish, baked good, or hot beverage.

The tCheck can only measure clarified butter like ghee, which doesn’t contain the milk fats that can affect the test results. It is also important to note that the tCheck can only measure THC content in clarified butter, as the chemical properties of butter conflict with the way that the tCheck measures CBD content. An infused butter makes a perfect addition to baked goods like brownies or cookies, but other popular recipes include butter chai or hot chocolate.

Testing Clear Alcohol, Olive Oil, And Coconut Oil Infusions

These three infusion methods all follow the same general testing process when using the tCheck 2. Perhaps some of the most versatile infusion methods, the tCheck can measure CBD or THC content for these types of infusions. Naturally, each of these infusion bases should be as pure as they can be. For example, tCheck recommends using MCT coconut oil, which is a more refined coconut oil. Alternatively, for alcohol, it is recommended to use a base that is at least 95% alcohol or higher, and it should be as clear as possible, as pigments or colors in the infusion base can interfere with test results.

Olive oil infusions are perfect for more savory edibles, while coconut oil can be used for just about any flavor of edible. Clear alcohol is a fantastic base for many different edible products including tinctures and actual infused alcoholic beverages or cocktails.

How to Test Concentrates or Flower With The Expansion Kit

The standard tCheck device is powerful on its own, but for those looking to test concentrates and raw flower though, the expansion kit for tCheck allows them to expand the capabilities of the device. The kit includes a digital scale for measuring the sample, a bottle of reagent good for 10 tests, and then several syringes, bottles, scoops, and filters to assist in testing.

The expansion kit can test dried nugs of flower, including hemp flower, along with concentrates like full extract cannabis oil (FECO), wax, crumble, shatter, and resin in under 5 minutes. Re-ordering a refill kit of reagent and filters is easy, and tCheck even offers bulk pricing for users doing frequent potency tests. Whether you are growing a few plants or a few thousand the expansion kit can bring the easy testing of tCheck to you.

Watch: How to measure flower potency with tCheck

How to Perform a Test on an Infusion Using tCheck

Testing with tCheck is easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind to get the best accuracy. To test a sample with tCheck, simply follow these steps:

  1. Start by washing your hands with hand soap that does not contain any sort of lotion, as various oils and lotions can react with and damage the testing tray.
  2. Remove the testing tray before turning on the tCheck device so that it can perform a self-calibration during warm up.
  3. Set the tray and device on a flat, level surface and turn on the device.
  4. Open the free tCheck app on your smartphone, it will find the device automatically if you have set it up before. Otherwise the app will guide you through connecting the device.
  5. Prepare the sample for testing, melting butter or coconut oil to a liquid state using a pan on a hot plate or stove, not a microwave which can damage the infusion. If you are testing a concentrate or flower, this is the stage where you would measure out the sample and mix it with the provided reagent, following the app’s instructions to prepare the sample.
  6. In the app, follow the test procedure and answer a few questions which include selecting the infusion temperature and other initial variables.
  7. Wait 60 seconds for infusions or 5 minutes for concentrates and flowers, and then the app will display your potency results!
  8. Either use or dispose of the sample. The sample is still perfectly fine to be used after testing if you so wish. Wash the testing tray with non-lotion soap like dish soap, then dry.
Watch: How to measure infusion potency with tCheck

Interpreting The tCheck Results

Testing with the tCheck is an absolute cinch. Once a test has been conducted using the tCheck, the results will be available for you to save to your history. For infusions, the app will display the dominant cannabinoid in terms of mg/ml, which stands for milligrams of cannabinoids per milliliter of infusion base. You can switch the units to milligrams per teaspoon or milligrams per tablespoon. For concentrates of flower, the potency displays the aggregate of total cannabinoids in the sample including THCa, THC, CBDa, CBD, CBG, and CBN as a percentage.

The tCheck can measure different ranges of potency for each type of substance, for infusions it can measure between 1-15 mg/ml, for flower 1-40%, and finally for concentrates it measures 1-99%. The device will display an “OVER” message if the sample is more potent than the tCheck can measure.

What to Choose When The App Asks “Decarbed?”

During the testing process you will be asked whether the infusion you are testing has been decarbed. Decarbing, or the scientific name for it, decarboxylation, is the process of removing certain molecules from cannabinoids by applying heat to the product. This is the process where THCa is converted to THC, and CBDa is turned to CBD. For flower, this is done when the end-user smokes or otherwise uses the flower, while for edibles the infusion is usually decarbed before being added to the recipe.

Dilution for Measuring Higher Potencies

No worries if your infusion or flower has a higher potency than the tCheck is able to measure. Like traditional lab testing equipment, technological restrictions can quickly and easily be worked around by diluting the sample and doing some quick math to find the potency of your sample.

Dilution is a simple process of measuring out a precise amount of your sample, then mixing it with a measured amount of un-infused base. Mix the infused and uninfused base, then test with the tCheck. After the test is done, multiply the potency you get by how many multiples of your starting base you used. For example, if you used 1 ml of infused base and 2ml of uninfused base, multiply the potency of the dilution by 3.

Watch: How to dilute a test sample

What Makes tCheck Different From Other Potency Testing Kits?

tCheck stands out in its ability to provide accurate test results, possibly better than other potency testing methods you might already be using. The most popular method, Thin Layer Chromatography or TLC uses a chemical mixture on a paper strip to visually measure potency. Very similar to a pH strip, applying a reagent and the infusion to the strip will gradually change the color of the strip, and using a color guide to try and find the potency. These testing strips can often be inaccurate, as they cannot account for variables in the environment and leave a huge margin for human error.

The tCheck uses its proprietary technology to measure cannabinoids, with an accuracy of +/- error of 15% off of full scale. Instead of having to guess on the color of a strip, tCheck gives you a number you can count on.

TLC strips are also one-time-use, and new strips have to be purchased for each test. While the tCheck expansion kit requires a consumable reagent for flower and concentrates, testing infusions with tCheck can be done as many times as you want! tCheck guarantees up to 500 accurate test results, less than $1 per test! When compared to other potency testing methods, tCheck clearly trumps them with its accuracy and price effectiveness.


The tCheck Device And App

Now that we’ve covered what the tCheck can do and how it works, lets take look at the device itself and the app that controls it.

The tCheck Device

Taking a quick look at the actual tCheck device, it is obvious that a lot of work was put in to make something that will be valuable for both cannabis industry professionals and novices. The sleek plastic body features a small ring of LEDs for diagnosing and working with the device.

Thanks to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) used to connect the tCheck to a smartphone, the device will last four to six months on three triple-A batteries. Through the tCheck app, the device can be updated with new firmware, expanding the capabilities of the device! Already since the tCheck 2’s launch, several updates have allowed tCheck owners to test more and different products, including hemp flower.

The tCheck App

What really sets the tCheck apart from other potency testing methods is the tCheck app. The app allows users to run potency tests and so much more! The clean design of the app makes it feel like a piece of professional software, while the handy diagrams and tutorials ensure that anyone can conduct a test without a hitch.

Some of the standout features include the built-in calculator to adjust edible recipes based off of potency results, telling you how much infused oil to use with uninfused oil to get the right potency every time. After creating a tCheck account, you can save test results to your log, allowing you to take notes and keep track of potency tests to identify areas of potential adjustment. The tCheck app is also updated regularly, so expect new features to bring expanded functionality to the app and the device!

Watch: Connecting your phone to your tCheck

Conclusion

Gone are the days of waiting for lab results or depending on unreliable paper tests. Thanks to tCheck, testing infusions, concentrates, and flower is cost effective and accurate with results that you can depend on. Whether you are an edible maker looking to improve their goods, a grower developing and creating better strains, or a caretaker ensuring that an infusion has the correct dosage, tCheck can help.

The app provides a clean interface and features to make testing easy, while providing a way for tCheck to add even more functionality in the future. There is already a wide range of infusion tests possible but if there are infusions you want to test like honey or grapeseed oil, simply ask tCheck for them! The updateable nature of the tCheck 2 allows additional oils and infusions to be supported. The tCheck 2 device and expansion kit is highly recommended for anyone looking for accurate and easy potency testing.

tCheck App
Clyde Jenkins - CNBS Author: Clyde Jenkins
Clyde is a former journalist and a cannabis connoisseur. He is an expert in well researched journalistic writing, which includes industry overviews, technology-related topics, lifestyle and culture topics, product reviews, and in-depth buyer’s guides. From common practices to what is currently hot and trending – when it comes to the practical side of this plant, Clyde is our guy.
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