By: Dylan Wilks, CTO

The Cultivator Cup 2021, sponsored by Solar Therapeutics and TheFarmacist, was developed to empower and establish emerging licensed cultivators of cannabis while allowing consumers to provide honest feedback on various cannabis and cannabis-infused products. The judge’s kits include 28 individual cannabis samples from licensed cannabis cultivators in Massachusetts.

As part of the competition, Orange Photonics put each of the 28 samples to the test on LightLab 3, the portable HPLC that analyzes cannabinoid and terpene content.


Each of the 28 samples were ground and homogenized before analysis. Analysis on a LightLab is simple and fast. Preparation involves weighing 0.3g of sample into a vial and adding 30ml of LightLab extraction solvent to the vial. The vial was then shaken on an automated shaker included with LightLab for three minutes. After extraction, the liquid extract was injected into the instrument for analysis. A full panel of 11 cannabinoids were tested in addition to a semi-quantitative terpene measurement that represents low, medium or high terpene levels.


Summarized results are included below. Access to each sample’s test result can be found through the link at the end of this post.


The Massachusetts growers did not disappoint! Here are our highlights:

  • An average Total THC value was 22.3%, which is impressive especially given the fact that the samples analyzed are retail samples, and were not intentionally selected for lab analysis.
  • Two samples broke 30% THCA, which puts them in the top 2% of over 4,000 THC dominant plant samples run on LightLabs worldwide.
  • Four samples had total cannabinoid content greater than 33%. In other words, in those samples more than 1/3of the weight is cannabinoids! That leaves little room for chlorophyll, plant stalk, etc.
  • Half of the samples had medium or high terpene content. That means half had more than 1% total terpenes present, a bar that’s hard to reach with cured flower.
  • The lowest sample (#12) was a beautiful-looking bud but was dark purple in color. Anecdotally, dark purple flowers tend to contain lower cannabinoid content. While #12 might not have won the potency contest, it was a strong contender for a beauty pageant.

Access to Results

View full panel of competitor results here. Scan the QR codes to view the Result Dashboard for each sample.