Monitoring Metabolite Profiles of Cannabis sativa L. Trichomes during Flowering Period Using 1H NMR-Based Metabolomics and Real-Time PCR

Planta Med. 2016 Aug;82(13):1217-23. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-108058. Epub 2016 Jun 23.


Cannabis sativa trichomes are glandular structures predominantly responsible for the biosynthesis of cannabinoids, the biologically active compounds unique to this plant. To the best of our knowledge, most metabolomic works on C. sativa that have been reported previously focused their investigations on the flowers and leaves of this plant. In this study, (1)H NMR-based metabolomics and real-time PCR analysis were applied for monitoring the metabolite profiles of C. sativa trichomes, variety Bediol, during the last 4 weeks of the flowering period. Partial least squares discriminant analysis models successfully classified metabolites of the trichomes based on the harvest time. Δ (9)-Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (1) and cannabidiolic acid (2) constituted the vital differential components of the organic preparations, while asparagine, glutamine, fructose, and glucose proved to be their water-extracted counterparts. According to RT-PCR analysis, gene expression levels of olivetol synthase and olivetolic acid cyclase influenced the accumulation of cannabinoids in the Cannabis trichomes during the monitoring time. Moreover, quantitative (1)H NMR and RT-PCR analysis of the Cannabis trichomes suggested that the gene regulation of cannabinoid biosynthesis in the C. sativa variety Bediol is unique when compared with other C. sativa varieties.

MeSH terms

  • Cannabinoids / chemistry
  • Cannabinoids / isolation & purification
  • Cannabis / chemistry*
  • Flowers
  • Metabolomics* / methods
  • Molecular Structure
  • Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Trichomes / chemistry*


  • Cannabinoids