Metabolic fingerprinting of Cannabis sativa L., cannabinoids and terpenoids for chemotaxonomic and drug standardization purposes.
ABSTRACT Cannabis sativa L. is an important medicinal plant. In order to develop cannabis plant material as a medicinal product quality control and clear chemotaxonomic discrimination between varieties is a necessity. Therefore in this study 11 cannabis varieties were grown under the same environmental conditions. Chemical analysis of cannabis plant material used a gas chromatography flame ionization detection method that was validated for quantitative analysis of cannabis monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, and cannabinoids. Quantitative data was analyzed using principal component analysis to determine which compounds are most important in discriminating cannabis varieties. In total 36 compounds were identified and quantified in the 11 varieties. Using principal component analysis each cannabis variety could be chemically discriminated. This methodology is useful for both chemotaxonomic discrimination of cannabis varieties and quality control of plant material.
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ABSTRACT: The medicinal use of Cannabis is increasing as countries worldwide are setting up official programs to provide patients with access to safe sources of medicinal-grade Cannabis. An important question that remains to be answered is which of the many varieties of Cannabis should be made available for medicinal use. Drug varieties of Cannabis are commonly distinguished through the use of popular names, with a major distinction being made between Indica and Sativa types. Although more than 700 different cultivars have already been described, it is unclear whether such classification reflects any relevant differences in chemical composition. Some attempts have been made to classify Cannabis varieties based on chemical composition, but they have mainly been useful for forensic applications, distinguishing drug varieties, with high THC content, from the non-drug hemp varieties. The biologically active terpenoids have not been included in these approaches. For a clearer understanding of the medicinal properties of the Cannabis plant, a better classification system, based on a range of potentially active constituents, is needed. The cannabinoids and terpenoids, present in high concentrations in Cannabis flowers, are the main candidates. In this study, we compared cultivars obtained from multiple sources. Based on the analysis of 28 major compounds present in these samples, followed by principal component analysis (PCA) of the quantitative data, we were able to identify the Cannabis constituents that defined the samples into distinct chemovar groups. The study indicates the usefulness of a PCA approach for chemotaxonomic classification of Cannabis varieties.Drug Testing and Analysis 02/2012; 4(7-8):660-7. · 2.54 Impact Factor