There are over 113 active cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The surge in applications for the approved usage of cannabis has increased the need for improved purification and detection. High performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is the industry standard for cannabinoid extraction.
Chromatography is a laboratory technique for the separation of a mixture. The mixture is dissolved in a fluid called the mobile phase, which carries it through a structure holding another material called the stationary phase. The various constituents of the mixture travel at different speeds, causing them to separate. The separation is based on differential partitioning between the mobile and stationary phases. Subtle differences in a compound's partition coefficient result in differential retention on the stationary phase and thus affect the separation.
Chromatography may be preparative or analytical. The purpose of preparative chromatography is to separate the components of a mixture for later use, and is thus a form of purification. Analytical chromatography is done normally with smaller amounts of material and is for establishing the presence or measuring the relative proportions of analytes in a mixture. (Wiki)