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Article

Yield, Characterization, and Possible Exploitation of Cannabis Sativa L. Roots Grown under Aeroponics Cultivation

1
Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Via Saffi 2, 61029 Urbino, Italy
2
Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences, University of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy
3
Department of Humanities and Cultural Heritage, University of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have contributed equally to this manuscript.
Academic Editors: Luigi Menghini, Angela Bisio and Maria Pia Argentieri
Molecules 2021, 26(16), 4889; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26164889
Received: 28 June 2021 / Revised: 4 August 2021 / Accepted: 6 August 2021 / Published: 12 August 2021
Cannabis sativa L. has been used for a long time to obtain food, fiber, and as a medicinal and psychoactive plant. Today, the nutraceutical potential of C.sativa is being increasingly reappraised; however, C. sativa roots remain poorly studied, despite citations in the scientific literature. In this direction, we identified and quantified the presence of valuable bioactives (namely, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, friedelin, and epi-friedelanol) in the root extracts of C. sativa, a finding which might pave the way to the exploitation of the therapeutic potential of all parts of the C. sativa plant. To facilitate root harvesting and processing, aeroponic (AP) and aeroponic-elicited cultures (AEP) were established and compared to soil-cultivated plants (SP). Interestingly, considerably increased plant growth—particularly of the roots—and a significant increase (up to 20-fold in the case of β-sitosterol) in the total content of the aforementioned roots’ bioactive molecules were observed in AP and AEP. In conclusion, aeroponics, an easy, standardized, contaminant-free cultivation technique, facilitates the harvesting/processing of roots along with a greater production of their secondary bioactive metabolites, which could be utilized in the formulation of health-promoting and health-care products. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cannabis sativa L.; aeroponics; roots; campesterol; stigmasterol; β-sitosterol; epi-friedelanol; friedelin Cannabis sativa L.; aeroponics; roots; campesterol; stigmasterol; β-sitosterol; epi-friedelanol; friedelin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ferrini, F.; Fraternale, D.; Donati Zeppa, S.; Verardo, G.; Gorassini, A.; Carrabs, V.; Albertini, M.C.; Sestili, P. Yield, Characterization, and Possible Exploitation of Cannabis Sativa L. Roots Grown under Aeroponics Cultivation. Molecules 2021, 26, 4889. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26164889

AMA Style

Ferrini F, Fraternale D, Donati Zeppa S, Verardo G, Gorassini A, Carrabs V, Albertini MC, Sestili P. Yield, Characterization, and Possible Exploitation of Cannabis Sativa L. Roots Grown under Aeroponics Cultivation. Molecules. 2021; 26(16):4889. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26164889

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ferrini, Fabio, Daniele Fraternale, Sabrina Donati Zeppa, Giancarlo Verardo, Andrea Gorassini, Vittoria Carrabs, Maria C. Albertini, and Piero Sestili. 2021. "Yield, Characterization, and Possible Exploitation of Cannabis Sativa L. Roots Grown under Aeroponics Cultivation" Molecules 26, no. 16: 4889. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26164889

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