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Fields & Applications Pharma & Biopharma, Thin Layer Chromatography

Identification and quantification of different cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa

Introduction

Cannabis sativa, the hemp plant, is native to Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Throughout history, hemp has widely been used for a broad range of purposes, from production of textile fibers to relief of pain. Cannabis resin (hashish) has been in disrepute because of its intoxicating effect and it is prohibited in most countries. Currently, discussions about the legalization of cannabis for medicinal use have started worldwide. Some countries allow cannabis for the treatment of various diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, epilepsy, etc. [1]. The effect is based on the cannabinoids, of which cannabidiol (CBD), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabinol (CBN) are studied best. Through years of research, different genetic strains of Cannabis sativa have been developed, in which the content of cannabinoids varies according to the intended usage. In Europe industrial hemp may not contain more than 0.2% of THC whereas in the US and Switzerland the limit is set to 1%. Medical cannabis can contain varying amounts of THC, CBD, CBN, and other cannabinoids used for different medical applications. For illicit use as a drug, there are varieties with a high content of THC. In response to the increasing interest on the use of Cannabis sativa extracts in industry and health sciences, we have developed a fast, simple, and reproducible HPTLC method for identification of Cannabis sativa strains. Quantitative evaluation is done by scanning densitometry and confirmation by HPTLC-MS and UV spectra.

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