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Special Issue "Industrial Hemp Chemistry and Nutraceutical Perspectives"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 April 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Severina Pacifico
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy
Interests: food chemistry; natural products chemistry; nutraceuticals; mass spectrometry polyphenols; chemoprevention
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The renewed interest in the no-drug type of Cannabis sativa L. represents the basis of new value chains for the sustainable development and the genesis of innovative products in food and nutraceutical sectors. In this context, the selection of seed varieties of Cannabis sativa L., the careful study of bioactive components from fruit and other plant organs, also those not directly useful in the food sector, open up to technology transfer for products’ innovation and process.

The production of hemp-based goods with high added value promotes the creation of a dynamic and circular supply chain in which the recovery of bioactive compounds, beyond phytocannabinoids, from hemp products, by-products and wastes is the driving force for the development of nutraceuticals and/or cosmeceuticals.

This Special Issue welcomes submissions (both in the form of original research papers and reviews) that deal with the deep investigation of hemp chemistry, as a key issue to pursue not only to provide a proper revival of ancient but overlooked/unknown food usages, but, above all to ensure bioactivity and effectiveness of hemp unique and diverse phytochemicals.

Prof. Dr. Severina Pacifico
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Cannabis sativa L.
  • hemp seed
  • hemp by-product
  • hemp chemistry
  • advanced analytical techniques
  • industrial hemp bioactivity investigation
  • functional food
  • nutraceuticals

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Multimethodological Characterization of Cannabis sativa L. Inflorescences from Seven Dioecious Cultivars Grown in Italy: The Effect of Different Harvesting Stages
Molecules 2021, 26(10), 2912; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26102912 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 697
Abstract
The chemical profile of the female inflorescence extracts from seven Cannabis sativa L. dioecious cultivars (Carmagnola, Fibranova, Eletta Campana, Antal, Tiborszallasi, Kompolti, and Tisza) was monitored at three harvesting stages (4, 14, and 30 September), reaching from the beginning of flowering to end [...] Read more.
The chemical profile of the female inflorescence extracts from seven Cannabis sativa L. dioecious cultivars (Carmagnola, Fibranova, Eletta Campana, Antal, Tiborszallasi, Kompolti, and Tisza) was monitored at three harvesting stages (4, 14, and 30 September), reaching from the beginning of flowering to end of flowering/beginning of seed formation, using untargeted nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and targeted (ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) and spectrophotometry) analyses. The tetrahydrocannabinol content was always below the legal limits (<0.6%) in all the analyzed samples. The NMR metabolite profile (sugars, organic acids, amino acids, and minor compounds) subjected to principal components analysis (PCA) showed a strong variability according to the harvesting stages: samples harvested in stage I were characterized by a high content of sucrose and myo-inositol, whereas the ones harvested in stage II showed high levels of succinic acid, alanine, valine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, and threonine. Samples harvested in stage III were characterized by high levels of glucose, fructose, choline, trigonelline, malic acid, formic acid, and some amino acids. The ratio between chlorophylls and carotenoids content indicated that all plants grew up exposed to the sun, the Eletta Campana cultivar having the highest pigment amount. Tiborszallasi cultivar showed the highest polyphenol content. The highest antioxidant activity was generally observed in stage II. All these results suggested that the Cannabis sativa L. inflorescences of each analyzed dioecious hemp cultivar presented a peculiar chemical profile affected by the harvesting stage. This information could be useful for producers and industries to harvest inflorescences in the appropriate stage to obtain samples with a peculiar chemical profile suitable for proper applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Hemp Chemistry and Nutraceutical Perspectives)
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Article
Chemical Analysis of Minor Bioactive Components and Cannabidiolic Acid in Commercial Hemp Seed Oil
Molecules 2020, 25(16), 3710; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25163710 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1196
Abstract
Although hemp seed (HS) oil is characterized by more than 80% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), a very high ω-6-to-ω-3 ratio is not a popular commodity. The aim of this work was to provide useful data about the bioactive components and cannabidiolic acid content [...] Read more.
Although hemp seed (HS) oil is characterized by more than 80% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), a very high ω-6-to-ω-3 ratio is not a popular commodity. The aim of this work was to provide useful data about the bioactive components and cannabidiolic acid content in thirteen different commercial hemp seed oils. The investigated HS oils showed a good ω-6/ω-3 ratio, ranging from 1.71 to 2.27, massively differed in their chlorophylls (0.041–2.64 µg/g) and carotenoids contents (0.29–1.73 µg/g), as well as in total phenols (22.1–160.8 mg Gallic Acid Equivalents (GAE)/g) and tocopherols (3.47–13.25 mg/100 g). Since the high content of PUFAs in HS oils, photo-oxidative stability was investigated by determining the Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TBARS) assay and extinction coefficient K232 and K270 after the photo-oxidative test. The percentage of increase in K232 and K270 ranged from 1.2 to 8.5% and from 3.7 to 26.0%, respectively, indicating good oxidative stability, but TBARS showed a 1.5- to 2.5-fold increase in oxidative behavior when compared to the initial values. Therefore, the diversity in bioactive compounds in HS oils, and their high nutritional value, suggest the need for a disciplinary booklet that well defines agronomic and post-harvest management conditions for achieving a good food objective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Hemp Chemistry and Nutraceutical Perspectives)
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Article
Comparative Effects of Dietary Hemp and Poppy Seed Oil on Lipid Metabolism and the Antioxidant Status in Lean and Obese Zucker Rats
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2921; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122921 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1248
Abstract
The objective of this study was to compare the effects of the dietary inclusion of hemp seed oil (HO) and poppy seed oil (PO) on the lipid metabolism and antioxidant status of lean and genetically obese Zucker rats. The rats were fed a [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to compare the effects of the dietary inclusion of hemp seed oil (HO) and poppy seed oil (PO) on the lipid metabolism and antioxidant status of lean and genetically obese Zucker rats. The rats were fed a control diet for laboratory rodents or a modification with HO or PO. Both oils reduced body and epididymal fat and liver cholesterol levels and promoted oxidative stress in the liver of obese rats. The HO reduced plasma triglycerides and had a stronger liver cholesterol-lowering effect in obese rats than PO. In the lean rats, HO and PO had no effects on the body fat content, plasma lipid profile, or lipid metabolism in the liver. HO considerably elevated the content of α-linolenic acid in the liver and increased the liver ratio of reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione (GSSG) in the lean rats. In conclusion, the regular consumption of both oils increases the accumulation of essential fatty acids in the liver of healthy animals, whilst not having any adverse effects on the body, whereas in genetically obese rats, the effects of both dietary oils on the lipid metabolism and antioxidant status are unequivocal and only partially beneficial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Hemp Chemistry and Nutraceutical Perspectives)
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Review

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Review
Cancer Initiation, Progression and Resistance: Are Phytocannabinoids from Cannabis sativa L. Promising Compounds?
Molecules 2021, 26(9), 2668; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26092668 - 02 May 2021
Viewed by 2250
Abstract
Cannabis sativa L. is a source of over 150 active compounds known as phytocannabinoids that are receiving renewed interest due to their diverse pharmacologic activities. Indeed, phytocannabinoids mimic the endogenous bioactive endocannabinoids effects through activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors widely described in [...] Read more.
Cannabis sativa L. is a source of over 150 active compounds known as phytocannabinoids that are receiving renewed interest due to their diverse pharmacologic activities. Indeed, phytocannabinoids mimic the endogenous bioactive endocannabinoids effects through activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors widely described in the central nervous system and peripheral tissues. All phytocannabinoids have been studied for their protective actions towards different biological mechanisms, including inflammation, immune response, oxidative stress that, altogether, result in an inhibitory activity against the carcinogenesis. The role of the endocannabinoid system is not yet completely clear in cancer, but several studies indicate that cannabinoid receptors and endogenous ligands are overexpressed in different tumor tissues. Recently, in vitro and in vivo evidence support the effectiveness of phytocannabinoids against various cancer types, in terms of proliferation, metastasis, and angiogenesis, actions partially due to their ability to regulate signaling pathways critical for cell growth and survival. The aim of this review was to report the current knowledge about the action of phytocannabinoids from Cannabis sativa L. against cancer initiation and progression with a specific regard to brain, breast, colorectal, and lung cancer as well as their possible use in the therapies. We will also report the known molecular mechanisms responsible for such positive effects. Finally, we will describe the actual therapeutic options for Cannabis sativa L. and the ongoing clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Hemp Chemistry and Nutraceutical Perspectives)
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Review
Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa) as an Emerging Source for Value-Added Functional Food Ingredients and Nutraceuticals
Molecules 2020, 25(18), 4078; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25184078 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2532
Abstract
Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L., Cannabaceae) is an ancient cultivated plant originating from Central Asia and historically has been a multi-use crop valued for its fiber, food, and medicinal uses. Various oriental and Asian cultures kept records of its production and numerous [...] Read more.
Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L., Cannabaceae) is an ancient cultivated plant originating from Central Asia and historically has been a multi-use crop valued for its fiber, food, and medicinal uses. Various oriental and Asian cultures kept records of its production and numerous uses. Due to the similarities between industrial hemp (fiber and grain) and the narcotic/medical type of Cannabis, the production of industrial hemp was prohibited in most countries, wiping out centuries of learning and genetic resources. In the past two decades, most countries have legalized industrial hemp production, prompting a significant amount of research on the health benefits of hemp and hemp products. Current research is yet to verify the various health claims of the numerous commercially available hemp products. Hence, this review aims to compile recent advances in the science of industrial hemp, with respect to its use as value-added functional food ingredients/nutraceuticals and health benefits, while also highlighting gaps in our current knowledge and avenues of future research on this high-value multi-use plant for the global food chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Hemp Chemistry and Nutraceutical Perspectives)
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Review
(‒)-Cannabidiolic Acid, a Still Overlooked Bioactive Compound: An Introductory Review and Preliminary Research
Molecules 2020, 25(11), 2638; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25112638 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2020
Abstract
Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is the main phytocannabinoid in fiber and seed-oil hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) plants, but its potential health-related capabilities have been masked for years by a greater scientific interest towards its neutral derivative cannabidiol (CBD). This review aims to collect [...] Read more.
Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is the main phytocannabinoid in fiber and seed-oil hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) plants, but its potential health-related capabilities have been masked for years by a greater scientific interest towards its neutral derivative cannabidiol (CBD). This review aims to collect from the literature and critically discuss all the information about this molecule, starting from its biosynthesis, and focusing on its bioactivity, as an anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, anti-convulsant, and anti-cancerogenic drug. Furthermore, in the awareness that, despite its multiple bioactive effects, currently poor efforts have been made to achieve its reliable purification, herein, we propose a relatively simple, fast, and inexpensive procedure for its recovery from pollen of industrial hemp cultivars. Spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques allowed us to unequivocally identify pure isolated CBDA and to distinguish it from the constitutional isomer tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA-A). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Hemp Chemistry and Nutraceutical Perspectives)
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