An analytical method for the determination of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at trace level in cosmetics is presented. As psychoactive compound, the presence of THC in consumer products should be avoided. However, it might be unintentionally present in cannabidiol-rich or hemp-based products by contamination or isomerization of cannabidiol. Due to the low concentrations expected, a sensitive and selective method is necessary for the analytical control of these products. In this sense, the presented method is based on stir bar sorptive dispersive microextraction (SBSDME) followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In this work, a magnetic composite made of CoFe2O4 magnetic nanoparticles embedded in a commercial reverse-phase polymer (Strata™-X-RP) was employed as magnetic sorbent material taking advantage of its affinity to the target analyte. Under the optimized conditions, the method was validated and showed good analytical features in terms of linearity (at least up to 10 ng mL-1), limits of detection and quantification (2.2 and 7.2 ng g-1, respectively) and repeatability (RSD <10%). Moreover, relative recoveries between 99 and 109% were obtained, showing matrix effects were negligible using deuterated THC (THC-D3) as surrogate. This new approach was successfully applied to ten commercially-available cosmetic samples of different matrices, thus showing it is suitable for the analytical control of THC in cosmetic products. The proposed methodology overcomes some of the drawbacks of the previous works with the same purpose, such as the higher limits of detection, time-consuming procedures, and consumption of large volumes of organic solvents.
Keywords: Cannabinoids; Cosmetic samples; Dispersive-based microextraction; Magnetic sorbent; Stir bar sorptive dispersive microextraction; Tetrahydrocannabinol.
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