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Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1894;

Microwave-Assisted Extraction of Cannabinoids in Hemp Nut Using Response Surface Methodology: Optimization and Comparative Study

School of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
Chinese Medicine Department, Ditmanson Medical Foundation, Chiayi Christian Hospital, Chiayi City 60002, Taiwan
Department of Sports Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
Department of Medical Research, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Hemp nut is commonly incorporated into several food preparations; however, most countries set regulations for hemp products according to their cannabinoid content. In this study, we have developed an efficient microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) method for cannabinoids (i.e., Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, and cannabinol) in hemp nut. Optimization of the MAE procedure was conducted through single factor experiments and response surface methodology (RSM). A comparative study was also conducted to determine the differences in the extraction yields and morphology of hemp nut between MAE and reference extraction methods, namely heat reflux extraction (HRE), Soxhlet extraction (SE), supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), and ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE). Among the independent variables in RSM, the temperature was the most significant parameter. The optimal conditions of MAE were as follows: extraction solvent of methanol, microwave power of 375 W, temperature of 109 °C, and extraction time of 30 min. Compared with reference extraction methods, MAE achieved the highest extraction yields of total cannabinoids in hemp nut (6.09 μg/g for MAE; 4.15 μg/g for HRE; 5.81 μg/g for SE; 3.61 μg/g for SFE; 3.73 μg/g for UAE) with the least solvent consumption and shortest time. Morphological observations showed that substantial cell rupturing occurred in the microstructure of hemp nut after MAE, indicating enhanced dissolution of the target compounds during the extraction process. The MAE method is thus a rapid, economic, and environmentally friendly extraction method that is both effective and practical for industrial applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol; cannabidiol; cannabinol; marijuana; cannabis Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol; cannabidiol; cannabinol; marijuana; cannabis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Chang, C.-W.; Yen, C.-C.; Wu, M.-T.; Hsu, M.-C.; Wu, Y.-T. Microwave-Assisted Extraction of Cannabinoids in Hemp Nut Using Response Surface Methodology: Optimization and Comparative Study. Molecules 2017, 22, 1894.

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