It has been repeatedly suggested that the effect of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or other single cannabinoids are not equal to that of whole cannabis preparations: some of the bio-activity observed for these preparations could be due to acidic cannabinoids. That is why a method which separates both neutral compounds such as THC as well as acidic cannabinoids such as THCA in plant material must be available. In Europe there is a growing interest in medicinal cannabis, which is used to treat a series of pathologies. Nonetheless, cannabis is a strictly controlled drug under specific regulations or is illegal even for therapeutic purposes in many European countries. Certified medicinal cannabis is currently used for the treatment of a number of pathologies, including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, arthritis, depression, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, psychosis, glaucoma and Tourette’s syndrome. It is also used for the relief of symptoms such as nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy, and appetite stimulation in patients suffering from HIV and AIDS.
The cannabinoids form a group of related compounds of which about 70 are known. Among the major cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa L. THC is generally accepted to be the compound that possesses the psychoactive properties.
HPLC permits the determination of the original composition of plant cannabinoids by direct analysis. In this application note two fast methods are presented achieving high-performance in less than 9 min.