An assessment of solvent residue contaminants related to cannabis-based products in the South African market

Following up on 2021 research on heavy metal contaminants in the South African cannabis market, Vivierset al. similarly describe solvent residue contaminant found in the same market in this 2022 paper published in Journal of Cannabis Research. Noting a dearth of such research in the South African market, the authors acquired 279 samples and had them analyzed in duplicate for a specific set of Class 1–3 solvents. The authors turned to headspace gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (HS-GC-MS) analysis , the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) <467>, and the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) Q3C to guide their analyses. After a brief discussion of materials and methods, the authors present their results and conclusions. They found among its analyzed 279 samples, “a total of 111 samples had at least one solvent analyte that failed the USP and ICH specification limit (37% failure rate),” with the failure rate increasing 2% for summed solvent concentrations. They conclude that “when assessing solvent residues present in samples against a set of pharmacopeial safety limits, it is evident that a large fraction of cannabis-based products in South Africa exceeds these limits.”

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