“Cannabis sativa is one of the oldest medicinal plants used by humans, containing hundreds of bioactive compounds. The biological effects and interplay of these compounds are far from fully understood, although the plant’s therapeutic effects are beyond doubt.
Extraction methods for these compounds are becoming an integral part of modern Cannabis-based medicine. Still, little is known about how different methods affect the final composition of Cannabis extracts and thus, their therapeutic effects.
In this study, different extraction methods were tested, namely maceration, Soxhlet, ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE), and supercritical CO2 extraction methods. The obtained extracts were evaluated for their cannabinoid content, antioxidant properties, and in vitro bioactivity on human colon cancer and healthy colon cells.
Our data suggest that Cannabis extracts, when properly prepared, can significantly decrease cancer cell viability while protecting healthy cells from cytotoxic effects.
However, post-processing of extracts poses a significant limitation in predicting therapeutic response based on the composition of the crude extract, as it affects not only the actual amounts of the respective cannabinoids but also their relative ratio to the primary extracts. These effects must be carefully considered in the future preparations of new therapeutic extracts.”