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Newly discovered compound might be the smelly one

It's difficult to miss or mistake the distinctive smell of cannabis. Now scientists have discovered more about where the aroma comes from – and it's not, as had been thought, all down to the naturally occurring chemical compounds known as terpenes in the plant.

Two research groups had previously identified volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), also known as thiols, as being responsible for the 'skunky' smell of cannabis. Of particular importance is the molecule 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol (321MBT).

Researchers at the terpene distributor Abstrax Tech recently lead a study using a variety of techniques on have used a variety of techniques on 31 cannabis extracts to investigate their smells further – techniques including gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and flame ionization detection to look closely at the chemicals in cannabis.

The team also identified 321MBT as significant, going on to better classify the different types of VSCs and their relationships to different cannabis scents – from citrus and tropical to sweet and grape-like. "We identified a new class of tropical volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that are major contributors to certain varieties with a strong citrus or tropical fruit aroma, while skatole (3-methylindole), a highly pungent compound, was identified as a key aroma compound in savory/chemical varieties," write the researchers in their published paper.

Read more at sciencealert.com

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