GC-MS analysis of the total delta9-THC content of both drug- and fiber-type cannabis seeds

J Anal Toxicol. Nov-Dec 2000;24(8):715-7. doi: 10.1093/jat/24.8.715.


A GC-MS method was performed to determine the total delta9-THC content in both drug- and fiber-type cannabis seeds. Drug-type seeds were found to contain much higher levels of delta9-THC (35.6-124 microg/g) than fiber (hemp) seeds (0-12 microg/g). The majority of delta9-THC was found to be located on the surface of the seeds. Approximately 90% of the total delta9-THC was removed by a simple, quick wash with chloroform. Washed drug-type seeds contained less than 10 microg/g. Separation of the seeds into the kernel and testa showed that the bulk of delta9-THC is located in the testa, mainly on the outside. The kernels of drug- and fiber-type cannabis seeds contained less than 2 and 0.5 microg delta9-THC/g seeds, respectively. Fluctuations in the delta9-THC content of different replicates of the same type of seeds could be the result of the degree of contamination on the outside of the seeds.

MeSH terms

  • Dronabinol / analysis*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / instrumentation
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Illicit Drugs / analysis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Dronabinol