Analytical techniques for phytocannabinoid profiling of cannabis

Cannabis is gaining increasing attention due to the high pharmacological potential and updated legislation authorizing multiple uses. The development of time- and cost-efficient analytical methods is of crucial importance for phytocannabinoid profiling. This review aims to capture the versatility of analytical methods for phytocannabinoid profiling of cannabis and cannabis-based products in the past four decades (1980–2021).

The thorough overview of more than 220 scientific papers reporting different analytical techniques for phytocannabinoid profiling points out their respective advantages and drawbacks in terms of their complexity, duration, selectivity, sensitivity and robustness for their specific application, along with the most widely used sample preparation strategies. In particular, chromatographic and spectroscopic methods, are presented and discussed.

Acquired knowledge of phytocannabinoid profile became extremely relevant and further enhanced chemotaxonomic classification, cultivation set-ups examination, association of medical and adverse health effects with potency and/or interplay of certain phytocannabinoids and other active constituents, quality control (QC), and stability studies, as well as development and harmonization of global quality standards. Further improvement in phytocannabinoid profiling should be focused on untargeted analysis using orthogonal analytical methods, which, joined with cheminformatics approaches for compound identification and MSLs, would lead to the identification of a multitude of new phytocannabinoids.

Stefkov, G.; Cvetkovikj Karanfilova, I.; Stoilkovska Gjorgievska, V.; Trajkovska, A.; Geskovski, N.; Karapandzova, M.; Kulevanova, S. Analytical Techniques for Phytocannabinoid Profiling of
Cannabis and Cannabis-Based Products—A Comprehensive Review.
Molecules 2022,27, 975. 

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