Probing the antioxidant activity of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in Cannabis sativa extracts

Analyst. 2019 Aug 5;144(16):4952-4961. doi: 10.1039/c9an00890j.


Herein, we report the antioxidant activity of cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in pure and mixed solutions at different ratios, as well as of six different Cannabis sativa extracts containing various proportions of CBD and THC by using spectrophotometric (reducing power assay, 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), hypochlorous acid (HOCl) scavenging assays) and electrochemical methods (cyclic voltammetry and differential pulse voltammetry). The isolated cannabinoids, the different stoichiometric ratios of CBD and THC, and the natural extracts proved to have remarkable antioxidant properties in all the methods employed in this work. The antioxidant activity of CBD and THC was compared against that of the well-defined antioxidants such as ascorbic acid (AA), resveratrol (Resv) and (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Clear evidence of the synergistic and antagonistic effects between CBD and THC regarding to their antioxidant activities was observed. Moreover, a good correlation was obtained between the optical and electrochemical methods, which proved that the reported experimental procedures can easily be adapted to determine the antioxidant activity of extracts from various Cannabis sativa species and related compounds.

MeSH terms

  • Cannabidiol / analysis
  • Cannabidiol / chemistry*
  • Cannabis / chemistry*
  • Dronabinol / analysis
  • Dronabinol / chemistry*
  • Electrochemical Techniques / methods
  • Free Radical Scavengers / analysis
  • Free Radical Scavengers / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*


  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Plant Extracts
  • Cannabidiol
  • Dronabinol