The Evolution of Medical Cannabis Quality Control
Quality Control Testing is an essential basic requirement to maintain
reliability at every stage of the manufacturing process
Cannabis has already been available as a medical product in several countries such as the Netherlands, Canada and since 10th March 2017 Germany. Only in Germany, 44,000 units of cannabis flowers, classified as pharmaceutical grade products, have been sold to chronic pain sufferers in 2017.
How is the quality of drugs controlled?
Medicals and drugs must be marketed as safe, consistent and predictable. Quality control standards in the medical cannabis industry are very important to ensure health and safety of medical cannabis patients and users. Thus, a quality control of medical cannabis covering production, evaluation and distribution is required to maintain customer safety. Especially in cannabis, the finished products are tested inter alia for the following parameters: physical identity such as color and odor, moisture, THC level, microbial, mycotoxin and metal contents, including heavy metals. In Germany, the identity is examined by the thin-layer chromatography. The contents of Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, Cannabidiol, Cannabidiolic acid, Cannabinol are determined by using a liquid chromatography . These two methods are very time-consuming, requiring a high amount of solvents. The question is now “How can we optimize the quality control of cannabis?” Our answer: “by using the NMR spectroscopy”.
Why should we use NMR spectroscopy for the quality control of cannabis?
NMR spectroscopy is a powerful tool for a holistic control by combining target and non-target analysis. Within the target analysis, the structure can be elucidated, the content is quantified and thus, the quality can be determined with minimal and non-destructive sample preparation. This allows a high-throughput of analyzing samples. A further benefit is that NMR is probably the best non-targeted technique to use for screening metabolites and testing the provenience and authentication.
NMR Cannabis Meeting
To bridge gaps between analytical science, authorities, and medicine we organize the first NMR Cannabis Meeting (09th Nov 2018). For more information, please check our blog post NMR Cannabis Meeting. You are cordially invited to develop jointly new NMR methods to improve the quality control of cannabis products.