Rapid quantification of cannabinoids in beef tissues and bodily fluids using direct-delivery electrospray ionization mass spectrometry

Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2022 Aug 8;1-13. doi: 10.1080/19440049.2022.2107711. Online ahead of print.


Hempseed cake is a byproduct of hempseed oil extraction and is potentially a useful source of protein and fiber for use in ruminant diets. However, data are lacking on the appearance and/or clearance of cannabinoids in tissues of animals fed hempseed cake. To this end, a rapid method for quantifying cannabinol (CBN), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinolic acid (CBNA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), cannabichromenic acid (CBCA), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVA), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) in cattle tissues, plasma, and urine was developed using rapid screen electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (RS-ESI-MS). Regression coefficients of matrix-matched standard curves ranged from 0.9946 to >0.9999 and analyte recoveries averaged from 90.2 ± 15.5 to 108.7 ± 18.7% across all compounds. Limits of detection and quantification ranged from 0.05 to 2.79 ng · mL-1 and 0.17 to 9.30 ng · mL-1, respectively, while the inter-day relative standard deviation ranged from 5.1 to 15.1%. Rapid screening electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (RS-ESI-MS) returned no false positives for any cannabinoid in plasma, urine, and tissue (liver, skeletal muscle) samples from 6 non-dosed control animals (n = 90 samples; of which 72 samples were plasma or urine and 18 samples were tissues). Across-animal cannabinoid concentrations measured in 32 plasma samples of cattle dosed with ground hemp were quantified by RS-ESI-MS; analytical results correlated well (r2 = 0.963) with independent LC-MS/MS analysis of the same samples.

Keywords: Rapid screening; cannabinoid; cattle; hempseed cake; mass spectrometry.