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The effect of cannabis dry flower irradiation on the level of cannabinoids, terpenes and anti-cancer properties of the extracts

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Abstract

Flowers of Cannabis sativa contain many potentially therapeutic ingredients, including phytocannabinoids and terpenes. Consumption of cannabis requires drying and processing flowers which can potentially lead to accumulation of pathogens, including fungi and bacteria. In many countries, the level of pathogens in dried flowers is strictly regulated and thus, licensed cannabis cultivators irradiate dry flowers to decrease the chance of accumulation of pathogens. We have hypothesized that irradiation of flowers may change the level of active ingredients in flowers. We have tested the effect of gamma-radiation on the level of cannabinoids and terpenes in four varieties of cannabis. Plants were grown to maturity and flowers were harvested. One flower sample per variety was irradiated with 5 kGy using electron beam, while another sample was mock-treated. Cannabinoids were analyzed using HPLC and terpenes using GC-FID. Ethyl acetate was used to prepare extracts from two sets of flowers and extracts were tested for anti-proliferative capacity using methyl-thiazolyl-tetrazolium (MTT) assay on four different cancer cell lines, BJ-5ta, BT16, HCC1806 and IMR5. Solvent-based extraction of irradiated flowers showed slight increase in the total amount of solute. Irradiation of flowers resulted in the increased level of cannabinoids in the extract, more prominent in delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. There was also an increase in terpenes content in some cultivars. MTT assay showed that irradiation of flowers changed anti-cancer properties of three out of four tested extracts. Our experiments demonstrated that irradiation of flowers changes the amount of active ingredients in the extract and anti-cancer properties of such extracts.

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The aim of this study was to compare the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities of gamma-irradiated persimmon leaf extract (GPLE) with those of non-irradiated persimmon leaf extract (PLE). Ethanolic extract of persimmon leaf was exposed to gamma irradiation at a dose of 10 kGy. After gamma irradiation, the color of the extract changed from dark brown to light brown. The anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities of GPLE and PLE were assessed from: total polyphenol and total flavonoid contents; 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay; 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) assay, and levels of pro-inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). The total polyphenol contents of GPLE and PLE were determined to be 224.44 ± 1.54 and 197.33 ± 5.81 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g, respectively, and the total flavonoid contents of GPLE and PLE were 206.27 ± 1.15 and 167.60 ± 2.00 mg quercetin equivalents (QUE)/g, respectively. The anti-oxidant activities of GPLE and PLE as measured by DPPH assays were 338.33 ± 30.19 μg/ml (IC50) and 388.68 ± 8.45 μg/ml (IC50), respectively, and those measured by ABTS assays were 510.49 ± 15.12 μg/ml (IC50) and 731.30 ± 10.63 μg/ml (IC50), respectively. IC50 is the inhibitor concentration that reduces the response by 50%. GPLE strongly inhibited the production of NO, PGE2 and IL-6 compared with PLE in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. Furthermore, GPLE significantly inhibited the production of TNF-α and IL-6 cytokines compared with PLE in phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) plus A23187-stimulated HMC-1 human mast cells. These results indicate that gamma irradiation of PLE can enhance its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities through elevation of the phenolic contents. Therefore, gamma-irradiated PLE has potential for use in the food and cosmetic industries.
Article
Background. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possibility to apply gamma radiation treatment for decontaminating and assuring the quality of peanut seeds. Material and methods. The radiation processing was carried out at dose levels of 3, 6 and 9 kGy. The ir- radiated and non-irradiated (control) samples were stored at room temperature for 12 months, and analyzed for microbial load, proximate composition, sensorial acceptance and chemical properties. Results. The results indicated that gamma irradiation treatment significantly (p < 0.05) reduced microbial load and enhanced the safety of the irradiated samples. The irradiated samples were also acceptable sensori- cally. The total acidity and total volatile nitrogen (TVBN) contents increased with the increase of radiation dose. Furthermore, in general, no substantial change in proximate constituents was observed amongst the samples. No significant (p > 0.05) differences in the taste, flavor, color and texture score were observed among treatments (0, 3, 6 and 9 kGy). Conclusion. Irradiation protected again bacterial and fungal growth and retained the nutritional components of samples during long-term storage.
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A 34-year-old man presented with pulmonary aspergillosis on the 75th day after marrow transplant for chronic myelogenous leukemia. The patient had smoked marijuana heavily for several weeks prior to admission. Cultures of the marijuana revealed Aspergillus fumigatus with morphology and growth characteristics identical to the organism grown from open lung biopsy specimen. Despite aggressive antifungal therapy, the patient died with disseminated disease. Physicians should be aware of this potentially lethal complication of marijuana use in compromised hosts.
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Significance: The detrimental effects of ionizing radiation (IR) involve a highly orchestrated series of events that are amplified by endogenous signaling and culminating in oxidative damage to DNA, lipids, proteins, and many metabolites. Despite the global impact of IR, the molecular mechanisms underlying tissue damage reveal that many biomolecules are chemoselectively modified by IR. Recent advances: The development of high-throughput "omics" technologies for mapping DNA and protein modifications have revolutionized the study of IR effects on biological systems. Studies in cells, tissues, and biological fluids are used to identify molecular features or biomarkers of IR exposure and response and the molecular mechanisms that regulate their expression or synthesis. Critical issues: In this review, chemical mechanisms are described for IR-induced modifications of biomolecules along with methods for their detection. Included with the detection methods are crucial experimental considerations and caveats for their use. Additional factors critical to the cellular response to radiation, including alterations in protein expression, metabolomics, and epigenetic factors, are also discussed. Future directions: Throughout the review, the synergy of combined "omics" technologies such as genomics and epigenomics, proteomics, and metabolomics is highlighted. These are anticipated to lead to new hypotheses to understand IR effects on biological systems and improve IR-based therapies.
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Consumption of salsas and dishes containing cilantro has been linked to several recent outbreaks of food-borne illness due to contamination with human pathogens. Ionizing irradiation can effectively eliminate food-borne pathogens from various vegetables including cilantro. However, the effect of irradiation on aroma of fresh cilantro is unknown. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of irradiation on volatile compounds of fresh cilantro leaves. Fresh cilantro leaves (Coriandrum sativum L) were irradiated with 0, 1, 2, or 3 kGy Á radiation and then stored at 3 °C up to 14 days. Volatile compounds were extracted using solid-phase microextraction (SPME), followed by gas chromato- graphic separation and mass spectra detection at 0, 3, 7, and 14 days after irradiation. Most of the volatile compounds identified were aldehydes. Decanal and (E)-2-decenal were the most abundant compounds, accounting for more than 80% of the total amount of identified compounds. The amounts of linalool, dodecanal, and (E)-2-dodecenal in irradiated samples were significantly lower than those in nonirradiated samples at day 14. However, the most abundant compounds (decanal and (E)-2- decenal) were not consistently affected by irradiation. During storage at 3 °C, the amount of most aldehydes peaked at 3 days and then decreased afterward. Our results suggest irradiation of fresh cilantro for safety enhancement at doses up to 3 kGy had minimal effect on volatile compounds compared with the losses that occurred during storage.
Article
Meatball samples were irradiated using a 60Co irradiation source (with the dose of 1, 3, 5 and 7kGy) and stored (1, 2 and 3weeks at 4°C) to appraise some physicochemical properties and the fatty acid composition. The physicochemical results showed no significant differences in moisture, protein, fat and ash content of meatballs because of irradiation. However, total acidity, peroxide and thiobarbituric acid (TBA) values increased significantly as a result of irradiation doses and storage period. The fatty acid profile in meatball samples changed with irradiation. While saturated fatty acids (C16:0, C17:0, C18:0, and C20:0) increased with irradiation, monounsaturated (C14:1, C15:1, C18:1, and C20:1) and polyunsaturated (C18:2, C18:3, and C22:2) fatty acids decreased with irradiation. Trans fatty acids (C16:1trans, C18:1trans, C18:2trans, C18:3trans) increased with increasing irradiation doses. Meatball samples irradiated at 7kGy had the highest total trans fatty acid content. This research shows that some physicochemical properties and fatty acid composition of meatballs can be changed by gamma irradiation. KeywordsFatty acid composition–Gamma-irradiation–Lipid oxidation–Storage period
Article
For ages, herbs have been used as medicine and food. Nowadays, the interest in phytotherapeutics is increasing as well as the consumer attention. Some biochemical compounds synthesized by plants as alkaloids, phenolics, flavonoids, essential oils, tannins and vitamins, influence the composition of these plant pharmacologicals, which may produce various reactions in the human body. The microbial contamination in these raw plant materials is common, and the radiation processing is one appropriate technique for the reduction of microorganism. In herbs used as food products, the changes in total β-carotene and flavonoids upon the radiation treatment were tested. The powdered and dehydrated herbs were irradiated with 60Co gamma rays applying doses of 0, 10, 20 and 30 kGy. The botanical species investigated were rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linné), watercress (Nasturtium officinale R. Br), artichoke (Cynara scolymus Linné) and sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum Linné). The alterations in the active principles in the herbs following increasing doses of radiation were analyzed employing various methods of extraction and chromatography.
Article
In the present study, the radiation processing of Nigella sativa seed samples was carried out at dose levels of 2, 4, 8, 10, 12 and 16 kGy. The extraction yield, total phenolic content and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical-scavenging activity of both control and irradiated samples extracted in acetone, methanol and water were assessed. The results showed that the extraction yields increased with an increase in radiation dose for all the test solvents. At 16 kGy the increases were 3.7%, 4.2%, 5.6% and 9.0% for hexane, acetone, water and methanol extracts, respectively. The phenolic content in the acetone extract was found to be increased from 3.7 for the control sample to 3.8 mg/g for the 16 kGy radiation-processed sample. No significant change was observed for the phenolic content of the methanolic extract, while the aqueous extract showed a decrease at dose levels of 12 and 16 kGy. In the control samples, the DPPH radical-scavenging activity was 79.4%, 79.1% and 92.0% for water, acetone and methanol extracts, respectively, at 5 mg/ml concentration. Gamma irradiation enhanced the scavenging activity in acetone and methanol extracts by 10.6% and 5.4%, respectively, at 16 kGy. In summary, gamma irradiation increased the extraction yield and total phenolic content, as well as enhancing the free radical-scavenging activity. In addition, the type of solvent used for extraction also affected the impact of irradiation on antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of N. sativa seed.
Article
The effects of high dose γ-irradiation on six herbal medicines were investigated using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Herbal medicines were irradiated at 0-50 kGy with (60)Co irradiator. HPLC was used to quantify changes of major components including glycyrrhizin, cinnamic acid, poncirin, hesperidin, berberine, and amygdalin in licorice, cinnamon bark, poncirin immature fruit, citrus unshiu peel, coptis rhizome, and apricot kernel. No significant differences were found between gamma-irradiated and non-irradiated samples with regard to the amounts of glycyrrhizin, berberine, and amygdalin. However, the contents of cinnamic acid, poncirin, and hesperidin were increased after irradiation. Volatile compounds were analyzed by GC/MS. The relative proportion of ketone in licorice was diminished after irradiation. The relative amount of hydrocarbons in irradiated cinnamon bark and apricot kernel was higher than that in non-irradiated samples. Therefore, ketone in licorice and hydrocarbons in cinnamon bark and apricot kernel can be considered radiolytic markers. Three unsaturated hydrocarbons, i.e., 1,7,10-hexadecatriene, 6,9-heptadecadiene, and 8-heptadecene, were detected only in apricot kernels irradiated at 25 and 50 kGy. These three hydrocarbons could be used as radiolytic markers to distinguish between irradiated (>25 kGy) and non-irradiated apricot kernels.
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There is an increasing trend both in advanced countries and many developing countries to centrally process fresh fruits and vegetables, properly packaged, for distribution and marketing. Irradiation technology proved to be effective in reducing post-harvest losses, and controlling the stored product insects and the microorganisms. Gamma irradiation was employed to restrain potato sprouting and kill pests in grain. Irradiation proved to be extremely beneficial in terms of prolonging the fruit and vegetable shelf life by 3-5 times. In order not to expose fruits and vegetables to high irradiation doses another approach is to use the "hurdle technology," that is to apply more than one technology toward better quality and longer shelf life. This review summarizes a) all the obtained results in this field (either irradiation on its own or in conjunction with other technologies) on fruits and vegetables in 11 figures and eight (8) very comprehensive tables, and b) provides an insight in the various methods (EPR, TL, Comet assay among others) for detection of irradiated foods.
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A 27-year-old man who habitually smoked marihuana developed clinical, laboratory, and radiologic findings consistent with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Culture of the marihuana obtained from the patient's source yielded heavy mixed growths of Aspergillus. Treatment with corticosteroids was effective.
Article
The possible role of marijuana (MJ) in inducing sensitization to Aspergillus organisms was studied in 28 MJ smokers by evaluating their clinical status and immune responses to microorganisms isolated from MJ. The spectrum of illnesses included one patient with systemic aspergillosis and seven patients with a history of bronchospasm after the smoking of MJ. Twenty-one smokers were asymptomatic. Fungi were identified in 13 of 14 MJ samples and included Aspergillus fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, Mucor, Penicillium, and thermophilic actinomycetes. Precipitins to Aspergillus antigens were found in 13 of 23 smokers and in one of 10 controls, while significant blastogenesis to Aspergillus was demonstrated in only three of 23 MJ smokers. When samples were smoked into an Andersen air sampler, A. fumigatus passed easily through contaminated MJ cigarettes. Thus the use of MJ assumes the risks of both fungal exposure and infection, as well as the possible induction of a variety of immunologic lung disorders.