Untargeted characterization of extracts from Cannabis sativa L. cultivars by gas and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in high resolution mode

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Highlights

Cannabis characterization by GC–TOF/MS and LC–QTOF MS/MS.

Untargeted metabolomics analysis of Cannabis sativa L.

Platforms for identification of polar and non-polar compounds in Cannabis.

Cannabinoids and terpenoids profile in different cultivars.

Comparation of secondary metabolites in Cannabis produced in field and greenhouse.

Profile of different cultivars of medicinal cannabis.

Abstract

Elucidation of Cannabis composition is required to evaluate the potential of this plant for pharmacological uses, but also for implementation in breeding programs with agronomical purposes. The aim of the present study was to develop a method for untargeted analysis of polar and non-polar Cannabis extracts. For this purpose, extracts from 17 cultivars of Cannabis sativa L. were analyzed by gas chromatography–time-of-flight/mass spectrometry (GC–TOF/MS) and liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (LC–QTOF MS/MS) in high resolution mode. One hundred sixty-nine compounds were identified in the extracts by searching MS and MS/MS information. Among identified families, there were mainly cannabinoids, terpenoids, lipids and flavonoids, but also some interesting compounds such as amino and organic acids, among others. Relative contents of terpenoids and cannabinoids in the same cultivars grown in greenhouse and field were compared. Compositional differences in the profile of terpenoids and cannabinoids between both types of grown conditions were found.

Keywords

Cannabis sativa L. metabolome

Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry

Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry

Cannabinoids

Terpenoids

Cannabis sativa L. varieties

Abbreviations

BSTFA

bis-(trimethylsilyl) fluoroacetamide

CBDVA

cannabidivarinic acid

ESI

electrospray ionization

FWHM

full width at half maximum

GC–FID

gas chromatography–flame ionization detection

GC–MS

gas chromatography–mass spectrometry

GC–MS/MS

gas chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry

GC–TOF/MS

gas chromatography–time-of-flight/mass spectrometry

HPLC–DAD

high pressure liquid chromatography–diode array detection

LC–MS

liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry

LC–QTOF MS/MS

liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry

MRM

multiple reaction monitoring

NMR

nuclear magnetic resonance

PAR

photosynthetically active radiation

PFTBA

perfluorotri-n-butylamine

TIC

total ion chromatogram

TMCS

trimethylchlorosilane

Δ, 8-THC

δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol

Δ, 9-THC

δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol

Δ9-THCA

δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinolic acid

Δ, 9-THCV

δ9‐tetrahydrocannabivarin

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© 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V.

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