Profiling of seized Cannabis sativa L. flowering tops by means of microwave-assisted hydro distillation and gas chromatography analyses


J Chromatogr A. 2024 May 11;1727:464994. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2024.464994. Online ahead of print.


This research aimed to support police forces in their battle against illicit drug trafficking by means of a multi-technique approach, based on gas chromatography. In detail, this study was focused on the profiling of volatile substances in narcotic Cannabis sativa L. flowering tops. For this purpose, the Scientific Investigation Department, RIS Carabinieri of Messina, provided 25 seized samples of Cannabis sativa L. The content of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), useful to classify cannabis plant as hemp (≤ 0.2 %) or as marijuana (> 0.2 %), was investigated. Essential oils of illicit drug samples were extracted using a microwave-assisted hydro-distillation (MAHD) system; GC-MS and GC-FID analytical techniques were used for the characterization of the terpenes and terpenoids fingerprint. Furthermore, the enantiomeric and carbon isotopic ratios of selected chiral compounds were investigated using a heart-cutting multidimensional GC (MDGC) approach. The latter exploited a combination of an apolar column in the first dimension, and a chiral cyclodextrin-based column in the second one, prior to parallel isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (C-IRMS) and MS detection. Finally, all the data were gathered into a statistical model, to demonstrate the existence of useful parameters to be used for the classification of seized samples.

PMID:38759461 | DOI:10.1016/j.chroma.2024.464994