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New Methods for the Comprehensive Analysis of Bioactive Compounds in Cannabis sativa L. (hemp)

1
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via G. Campi 103, 41125 Modena, Italy
2
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences, and Environmental Management, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen, Goethestrasse 58, 35390 Giessen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2018, 23(10), 2639; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23102639
Received: 21 September 2018 / Revised: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 14 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychoactive Natural Products)
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Abstract

Cannabis sativa L. is a dioecious plant belonging to the Cannabaceae family. The main phytochemicals that are found in this plant are represented by cannabinoids, flavones, and terpenes. Some biological activities of cannabinoids are known to be enhanced by the presence of terpenes and flavonoids in the extracts, due to a synergistic action. In the light of all the above, the present study was aimed at the multi-component analysis of the bioactive compounds present in fibre-type C. sativa (hemp) inflorescences of different varieties by means of innovative HPLC and GC methods. In particular, the profiling of non-psychoactive cannabinoids was carried out by means of HPLC-UV/DAD, ESI-MS, and MS2. The content of prenylated flavones in hemp extracts, including cannflavins A and B, was also evaluated by HPLC. The study on Cannabis volatile compounds was performed by developing a new method based on headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with GC-MS and GC-FID. Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabidiol (CBD) were found to be the most abundant cannabinoids in the hemp samples analysed, while β-myrcene and β-caryophyllene were the major terpenes. As regards flavonoids, cannflavin A was observed to be the main compound in almost all the samples. The methods developed in this work are suitable for the comprehensive chemical analysis of both hemp plant material and related pharmaceutical or nutraceutical products in order to ensure their quality, efficacy, and safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cannabis sativa L.; hemp; cannabinoids; flavonoids; terpenes; HPLC; GC; MS. Cannabis sativa L.; hemp; cannabinoids; flavonoids; terpenes; HPLC; GC; MS.
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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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Pellati, F.; Brighenti, V.; Sperlea, J.; Marchetti, L.; Bertelli, D.; Benvenuti, S. New Methods for the Comprehensive Analysis of Bioactive Compounds in Cannabis sativa L. (hemp). Molecules 2018, 23, 2639.

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