Liquid Chromatography–Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry for Cannabinoid Profiling and Quantitation in Hemp Oil Extracts
A primary impediment to cannabinoid research is the fact that materials possessing psychoactive Δ-9-tetrathydrocannabinol are considered Schedule I drugs as defined in the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. An alternative source of cannabinoids may be found in hemp oil extracts. Hemp contains a low percentage of Δ-9-tetrathydrocannabinol (THC) by weight but relatively high amounts of non-psychoactive cannabinoids. The liquid chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry (LC-TOF) method presented herein allows for the accurate, precise and robust speciation, profiling and quantification of cannabinoids in hemp oil extracts and commercial cannabinoid products for research and development laboratories. The method was determined to chromatographically separate 11 cannabinoids including differentiation of Δ-8-tetrahdrocannabinol and THC with excellent linear dynamic range, specificity and sensitivity.