Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

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Kian Kadkhodaei
Nina Biei
Esther Caelles Vidiella
Pamela Osmenaj
Giuseppe Cannazza
Martin Schmid corresponding author


Cannabis sativa is known to be the most abused illegal drug worldwide. To date it is not only used as a medicine but has been established as a lifestyle product. The most relevant phytocannabinoids represent the ingredients delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (D9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), whereby only D9-THC shows a psychoactive effect. Since 2017, the so-called CBD-hemp containing CBD as main ingredient is distributed in many countries as a legal alternative. In these products, D9-THC must not exceed a certain percentage. It is hardly possible to differentiate between THC-hemp and CBD-hemp presenting a major challenge for authorities. Therefore, there is the need to develop fast and efficient analysis methods to distinguish between fibre-type, drug-type and intermediate-type cannabis products. The aim of this study was to compare two simple and inexpensive HPLC-UV and GC-FID methods for their ability to quantify phytocannabinoids in dried cannabis plant material. For this purpose, a set of 37 fresh and dried cannabis samples randomly chosen from seizures of Austrian police was subject to complementary quantification of D9-THC and CBD. After having taken into account decomposition of certain phytocannabinoids, the result of this quantitative study showed good correlation between HPLC-UV and GC-FID regardless of quantifying cannabis leaves or buds.

Cannabinoids, D9-THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, HPLC-UV, GC-FID

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How to Cite
Kadkhodaei, K., Biei, N., Vidiella, E., Osmenaj, P., Cannazza, G., & Schmid, M. (2021). Differentiation between drug-type, fibre-type and intermediate-type in cannabis samples: HPLC-UV versus GC-FID. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Research, 2(2), 161-168.


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