Featured article of the month: December 2022:
"A sustainable approach for the reliable and simultaneous determination of terpenoids and cannabinoids in hemp inflorescences by vacuum-assisted headspace solid-phase microextraction"
Cannabis sativa L. is an intriguing plant that has been exploited since ancient times for recreational, medical, textile and food purposes. The plant's most promising bioactive constituents discovered so far belong to the terpenoid and cannabinoid classes. These specialized metabolites are highly concentrated in the plant aerial parts, and their chemical characterization is crucial to guarantee the safe and efficient use of the plant material irrespective of which use it is. This study investigates for the first time the use of vacuum-assisted headspace solid-phase microextraction (Vac-HSSPME) as a sample preparation process in an analytical protocol based on Vac-HSSPME combined to fast gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis that aims at comprehensively characterizing both the terpenoid and cannabinoid profiles of Cannabis inflorescences in a single step ... (Full article...)
Featured article of the month: November 2022:
"A spectroscopic study to assess heavy metals absorption by a combined hemp-spirulina system from contaminated soil"
The efficiency of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in remediating sites contaminated with heavy metals has received great attention in recent years. The main advantage of this technology relies on its inherent sustainability, with a potential re-utilization of the significant amount of produced biomass, which acts as a valuable flow resource. In this study, a combined system consisting of Cannabis sativa L. (hemp) and the blue-green alga Arthrospira platensis (spirulina) was tested to clean up soils contaminated with cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc. The application of non-targeted nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) methods ... (Full article...)
Featured article of the month: October 2022:
"Chemical profiling and characterization of different cultivars of Cannabis sativa L. inflorescences by SPME-GC-MS and UPLC-MS"
The chemical profile of Cannabis sativa L. female inflorescences is rather complex, being characterized by a large number of molecules belonging to different chemical classes. Considering the numerous applications of cannabis in various fields—including the medical and pharmaceutical sectors, which have seen an increasing use for the Cannabis genus in recent years—a precise characterization of the matrices is essential. In this regard, the application of adequate and suitable sampling and analysis techniques becomes important in order to provide an identification of the metabolites characterizing the profile of the sample under examination ... (Full article...)
Featured article of the month: September 2022:
"An assessment of solvent residue contaminants related to cannabis-based products in the South African market"
Organic solvents are used for manufacturing herbal medicines and can be detected as residues of such processing in the final products. It is important manufacturers control the presence of these solvent residues for the safety of consumers. South African cannabis-based product samples were analyzed for solvent residue contaminants as classified by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), chapter 467. The origin of these samples ranged anywhere from crude extract to product development samples and market-ready final products. Samples were submitted to a contract laboratory over a period of two years, from 2019 to 2021. To date, no data of this kind exist in South Africa ... (Full article...)
Featured article of the month: August 2022:
"Recent advances in electrochemical sensor technologies for THC detection—A narrative review"
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC or simply THC) is the main psychoactive component and one of the most important medicinal compounds in cannabis. Whether in human body fluids and breath or in laboratory and field samples, rapid and easy detection of THC is crucial. It provides insights into the impact of THC on the human organism, as well as its medicinal benefits. It also guides cannabis growers in determining different stages of the growth of the plant in the field, and eventually it helps scientists in the laboratory to assure the quality of the products and determine their potency or better understand product development procedures ... (Full article...)
Featured article of the month: July 2022:
"Simultaneous quantification of 17 cannabinoids in cannabis inflorescence by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry"
With an increasing appreciation for the unique pharmacological properties associated with distinct, individual cannabinoids of Cannabis sativa, there is demand for accurate and reliable quantification for a growing number of them. Although recent methods are based on highly selective chromatography–mass spectrometry technology, most are limited to a few cannabinoids, while relying on unnecessarily sophisticated and expensive ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. Here we report an optimized, simple extraction method followed by a reliable and simple high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for separation. The detection is performed using a time-of-flight mass spectrometer that is available in most natural products research laboratories ... (Full article...)
Featured article of the month: June 2022:
"Potential of NIRS technology for the determination of cannabinoid content in industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.)"
Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a plant native to Asia and is considered to be a primary source of food, textile fiber, and medicines. It is characterized by containing minimal concentrations of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main psychoactive chemical component, and cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive substance. In most European countries, the maximum concentration legally allowed for cultivation is 0.2% of THC, and it is currently under debate whether to increase this level to 0.3%. Moreover, in many countries its production is being regulated and legalized, increasing the need for a rapid analysis method ... (Full article...)
Featured article of the month: May 2022:
"Cannabis sativa research trends, challenges, and new-age perspectives"
Cannabis sativa L. is one of the oldest known medicinal plants, cultivated for at least 10,000 years for several agricultural and industrial applications. However, the plant became controversial owing to some psychoactive components that have adverse effects on human health. In this review, we analyze the trends in cannabis research for the past two centuries. We discuss the historical transitions of cannabis from the category of "herbal medicine" to an illicit drug and back to a medicinal product post-legalization. In addition, we address the new-age application of immuno-suppressive and anti-inflammatory cannabis extracts for the treatment of COVID-19 inflammation. We further address the influence of the legal aspects of cannabis cultivation for medicinal, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological research ... (Full article...)
Featured article of the month: April 2022:
"Does cannabis extract obtained from cannabis flowers with maximum allowed residual level of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A have an impact on human safety and health?"
The aim of this study was to investigate whether the cannabis extract obtained from cannabis flowers that contain the maximum allowed level of mycotoxins affects human safety and health. For that purpose, a novel method of liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed and validated for the determination of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A (OchA) in cannabis extracts to demonstrate that this analytical method is suitable for the intended experimental design. (Full article...)
Featured article of the month: March 2022:
"Delta-8-THC: Delta-9-THC’s nicer younger sibling?"
Products containing delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC) became widely available in most of the United States following the 2018 Farm Bill, and by late 2020, those products were core products of hemp processing companies, especially where delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) use remained illegal or required medical authorization. Research on experiences with Δ8-THC is scarce, and some state governments have prohibited it because of this lack of knowledge. We conducted an exploratory study addressing a broad range of issues regarding Δ8-THC to inform policy discussions and provide directions for future systematic research. (Full article...)
Featured article of the month: February 2022:
"Fertilization following pollination predominantly decreases phytocannabinoids accumulation and alters the accumulation of terpenoids in Cannabis inflorescences"
Over the last few decades, a growing body of evidence has increasingly showed the therapeutic capabilities of Cannabis plants. These capabilities have been attributed to the specialized secondary metabolites stored in the glandular trichomes of female inflorescences, mainly phytocannabinoids and terpenoids. The accumulation of these metabolites in the flower is versatile and influenced by a largely unknown regulation system, attributed to genetic, developmental, and environmental factors. As Cannabis is a dioecious plant, one main factor is fertilization after successful pollination. Fertilized flowers are considerably less potent, likely due to changes in the contents of phytocannabinoids and terpenoids. (Full article...)
Featured article of the month: January 2022:
"The cannabis terpenes"
Terpenes are the primary constituents of essential oils and are responsible for the aroma characteristics of the Cannabis plant. Together with cannabinoids, terpenes illustrate a potential synergic and/or entourage effect, with their interactions having only been speculated on for the last few decades. Hundreds of terpenes have been identified that additionally add to the overall cannabis sensory experience, contributing largely to the consumer’s experiences, as well as the market price. These terpenes also enhance many therapeutic efforts, especially as aromatherapy. To shed light on the importance of terpenes in the cannabis industry, the purpose of this review is to morphologically describe sources of cannabis terpenes and to explain the biosynthesis and diversity of terpene profiles in different cannabis chemotypes. (Full article...)