“Since 2013 Cannabis-based preparations, containing the two main cannabinoids of interest, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD), can be used for therapeutic purposes, such as palliative care, neurodegenerative disorder treatment and other therapies.
The preparations may consist of a drug partition in sachets, capsules or through the extraction in certified olive oil.
the aims of the study were: a) to develop and validate a new liquid chromatographic-tandem mass spectrometric (LC-MS/MS) method for the identification and quantification of THC and CBD in olive oil; b) to evaluate the extraction efficiency and reproducibility of a new commercial extractor on the market.
the olive oil was simply diluted three consecutive times, using organic solvents with increasing polarity index (n-hexane → isopropanol → methanol). The sample was then direct injected into LC-MS/MS system, operating in Multiple Reaction Monitoring Mode, in positive polarization. The method was then fully validated.
The method assessed to be linear over the range 0.1-10 ng/µL for both THC and CBD. Imprecision and accuracy were within 12.2% and 16.9% respectively; matrix effects proved to be negligible; THC concentration in oil is stable up to two months at room temperature, whenever kept in the dark. CBD provided a degradation of 30% within ten weeks. The method was then applied to olive oil after sample preparation, in order to evaluate the efficiency of extraction of a new generation instrument. Temperature of extraction is the most relevant factor to be optimized. Indeed, a difference of 2 °C (from 94.5°C to 96.5°C, the highest temperature reached in the experiments) of the heating phase, increases the percentage of extraction from 54.2% to 64.0% for THC and from 58.2% to 67.0% for CBD. The amount of THC acid and CBD acid that are decarboxylated during the procedure must be check out in the future.
the developed method was simple and fast. The extraction procedure proved to be highly reproducible and applicable routinely to cannabis preparations.”