Simultaneous determination of terpenes and cannabidiol in hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) by fast gas chromatography with flame ionization detection

J Sep Sci. 2020 Jul;43(14):2817-2826. doi: 10.1002/jssc.201900822. Epub 2020 May 18.


Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) has become widely used in several sectors due to the presence of various bioactive compounds such as terpenes and cannabidiol. In general, terpenes and cannabidiol content is determined separately, which is time consuming. Thus, a fast gas chromatography with flame ionization detection method was validated for simultaneous determination of both terpenes and cannabidiol in hemp. The method enabled a rapid detection of 29 different terpenes and cannabidiol within a total analysis time of 16 min, with satisfactory sensitivity (limit of detection = 0.03-0.27 µg/mL, limit of quantitation = 0.10-0.89 µg/mL). The inter- and intraday precision (RSD) was <7.82 and <3.59%, respectively. Recoveries at two spiked concentration levels (low, 3.15 µg/mL; high, 20.0 µg/mL) were determined on both apical leaves (78.55-101.52%) and inflorescences (77.52-107.10%). The reproducibility (RSD) was <5.94 and <5.51% in apical leaves and inflorescences, respectively. The proposed and validated method is highly sensitive, robust, fast, and accurate for determination of the main terpenes and cannabidiol in hemp and could be routinely used for quality control.

Keywords: cannabidiol; cannabis; fast gas chromatography; hemp; terpenes.