This Is Why We Need Standardized Methods To Test Cannabinoids in Food

Cannabis sativa L. or popularly known as hemp is a versatile plant that can be used for paper, cloth or biofuel production. As a consumable it is believed to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety properties and thus becoming more popular as medicinal plant treatment. Other hemp byproducts such as oil, protein and flour are also seeing a larger presence in the consumer market and this has led to a call from the scientific community for better standardized regulations. 

Current regulations on cannabinoids levels in food products only pay attention to Δ9-THC levels due to its psychoactive nature. This is further complicated by the fact that legal limits are different across countries and are measured within the mg/kg (ppm) range. To address this heterogeneous approach a recent Swiss study proposed a LC-MS/MS method that would allow identification of up to 15 cannabinoids. The method uses a new liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry and sampled 5 ingredients: hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, hemp protein, raw milk and skimmed milk powder. The experiment allowed for more detailed profiling and levels of cannabinoids even among products from the same category. 

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