Analysis of impurities of cannabidiol from hemp. Isolation, characterization and synthesis of cannabidibutol, the novel cannabidiol butyl analog

J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2019 Oct 25:175:112752. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2019.06.049. Epub 2019 Jul 12.


Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the two major active principles present in Cannabis sativa, is gaining great interest among the scientific community for its pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic applications. CBD can be prepared either by chemical synthesis or extraction from Cannabis sativa (hemp). The latter is more convenient from several points of view, including environmental and economic, but mainly for the absence of harmful organic solvents generally employed in the chemical synthesis. Although CBD produced by hemp extraction is the most widely employed, it carries two major impurities. The first one is the already known cannabidivarin (CBDV), whereas the second one is supposed to be the butyl analog of CBD with a four-term alkyl side chain. In this work, we report the isolation by semi-preparative liquid chromatography and the unambiguous identification of this second impurity. A comprehensive spectroscopic characterization, including NMR, UV, IR, circular dichroism and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), was carried out on this natural cannabinoid. In order to confirm its absolute configuration and chemical structure, the stereoisomer (1R,6R) of the supposed cannabinoid was synthesized and the physicochemical and spectroscopic properties, along with the stereochemistry, matched those of the natural isolated molecule. According to the International Nonproprietary Name, we suggested the name of cannabidibutol (CBDB) for this cannabinoid. Lastly, an HPLC-UV method was developed and validated for the qualitative and quantitative determination of CBDV and CBDB in samples of CBD extracted from hemp and produced according to Good Manufacturing Practices regulations for pharmaceutical and cosmetic use.

Keywords: CBD-C(4); Cannabidibutol; Cannabidiol; Cannabidivarin; LC-HRMS; LC-UV.

MeSH terms

  • Cannabidiol / chemistry*
  • Cannabinoids / chemistry
  • Cannabis / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods


  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabidiol
  • cannabidivarin