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Forensic Science & Addiction Research

Quality Assessment of Cannabidiol Rich Cannabis Extracts Purchased on the Internet

Submission: May 05, 2021;Published: May 21, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/FSAR.2020.05.000620

ISSN: 2578-0042
Volume5 Issue3


Research shows that cannabis has a beneficial impact on many different health issues and, as a consequence, concentrated cannabis derived products are becoming increasingly popular. Above all, high Cannabidiol (CBD) and low Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) extracts are aggressively marketed by many vendors via internet-based shops. As with “classical” medication or food supplements, assessment of product safety is an important issue. Because many different non-standardized production methods are used and no international accepted technical verification procedures of the final products are yet available, the quality of CBD oils generally cannot be guaranteed.
In this study, cannabinoid, terpene, pesticide, solvent and metal content of 24 CBD rich extracts purchased from several internet vendors were investigated. Furthermore, consumer information given on the internet site or as package insert is also discussed. Most of the samples had substandard consumer information and CBD concentrations below the proclaimed values. Terpene concentrations were highly variable, pesticides were detected in three samples and residual extraction solvents were detected in four samples. Metals were present at low, non-toxic levels in all samples. Considering the growing popularity of medical cannabis and of online shops consumer education is important and systematic quality testing for cannabis extracts should be mandatory.


Cannabis extracts; Cannabinoid content; Terpenes; Pesticides; Metals; Solvents; Online vendors


CBD: Cannabidiol; CBDA: Cannabidiol Acid; CBG: Cannabigerol; CBGA: Cannabigerol Acid; CBN: Cannabinol; THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol; CYP: Cytochrome P; DMA: Direct Mercury Analyser; GC/MS: Gas Chromatography Coupled to Mass Spectrometry; GC/MS/MS: Gas Chromatography Coupled to Tandem Mass Spectrometry; HPLC/UV: High Performance Chromatography Coupled to Ultraviolt Detection; HS/GC/MS: Head Space Gas Chromatography Coupled to Mass Spectrometry; LC/MS/MS: Liquid Chromatography Coupled to Tandem Mass Spectrometry; LLOQ: Lower Limit of Quantification; LOD: Limit of Detection; MRM: Multiple Reaction Monitoring; PDA: Photodiode Array Detector; PTFE: Polytetrafluorethen; S/N: Signal to Noise Ratio; THCA: Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid

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