After a long period defined by prohibition of hemp production, this crop has been recently re-evaluated in various industrial sectors. Until now, inflorescences have been considered a processing by-product, not useful for the food industry, and their disposal also represents an economic problem for farmers. The objects of the present work are coffee blends enriched with shredded inflorescences of different cultivars of industrial hemp that underwent solid/liquid extraction into the Italian “moka” coffee maker. The obtained coffee drinks were analyzed by Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS) tools for their quali-quantitative phytocannabinoid profiles. The results showed that they are minor constituents compared to chlorogenic acids and caffeine in all samples. In particular, cannabidiolic acid was the most abundant among phytocannabinoids, followed by tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. Neither Δ9
-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) nor cannabinol, its main oxidation product, were detected. The percentage of total THC never exceeded 0.04%, corresponding to 0.4 mg/kg, far below the current maximum limits imposed by the Italian Ministry of Health. This study opens up a new concrete possibility to exploit hemp processing by-products in order to obtain drinks with high added value and paves the way for further in vitro and in vivo investigations aimed at promoting their benefits for human health.
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