Will your cellphone be able to tell you what’s in your weed?

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Some might use their cellphone to buy their cannabis, but soon it might also be how you can check what’s in your stash or even what’s in your blood.

Samsung, which did not respond to requests for comment, filed a patent this spring for an “Electronic device including several of light sources” which was recently published, as first reported by Let’sGoDigital.

The utility patent describes an electronic device that can emit visible and infrared light with a detector and processor—all the technology needed for a spectrometer.

Spectrometers shine visible and infrared light waves at an object and analyzes the light that bounces back to determine the makeup of that object. Theoretically, if you point the sensor at an apple, it could tell you how much sugar is inside.

A drawing from Samsung’s patent.

But Gregory A. Barrett-Wilt, Ph.D., director of the University of Wisconsin’s Mass Spectrometry Facility says it could potentially be used for other purposes.

“Imagine if you could analyze your own urine… if you’ve got cannabinoids, this could detect them,” he said. “You hold it into the toilet bowl and point it at your urine.”

Si-Ware Systems executive vice president Scott Smyser says he thinks it could be a great way to see how pure your pot is. “There’s a lot of opportunity for spectroanalysis for cannabis and CBD,” Smyser said.

“You can determine the levels, potency of cannabis, and you can validate it as cannabis.”

The rumour seems to be that this patent is related to the Samsung Galaxy S11 smartphone, but it would not be the first cellphone with a spectrometer. That title belongs to the Changhong H2, which launched in 2017.

“The spectral range and resolution isn’t great on the sensor,” Smyser said. “You can determine simple properties like fat content in food, but if you’re talking about cannabis, it probably couldn’t do that as well.”

Smyer said a better spectrometer isn’t just limited to inspecting cannabis—it could also be used on pharmaceuticals or illegal drugs. “There’s potential there, but I think it still needs to be developed,” he said.

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