Sustainable cannabinoids purification through twin-column recycling chromatography and green solvents

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2024 Jul;416(18):4091-4099. doi: 10.1007/s00216-024-05332-7. Epub 2024 May 15.


In the present study, twin-column recycling chromatography has been employed for the purification of a Cannabis extract by using a green solvent, ethanol, as the mobile phase. In particular, the complete removal of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from a Cannabis extract rich in cannabidiol (CBD) was achieved under continuous conditions. The performance of the method, in terms of compound purity, recovery, productivity and solvent consumption, was compared to that of traditional batch operations showing the potential of the twin-column recycling approach. The employment of a theoretical model to predict the band profiles of the two compounds during the recycling process has facilitated method development, thus further contributing to process sustainability by avoiding trial and error attempts or at least decreasing the number of steps significantly.

Keywords: Cannabis sativa L.; Cannabinoids; Green solvent; Recycling chromatography; THC depletion.

MeSH terms

  • Cannabidiol / analysis
  • Cannabidiol / isolation & purification
  • Cannabinoids* / analysis
  • Cannabinoids* / chemistry
  • Cannabinoids* / isolation & purification
  • Cannabis* / chemistry
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Dronabinol / analysis
  • Dronabinol / isolation & purification
  • Green Chemistry Technology* / methods
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Recycling
  • Solvents* / chemistry


  • Solvents
  • Cannabinoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Cannabidiol
  • Dronabinol