Identification of Cannabis sativa L. (hemp) retailers by means of multivariate analysis of cannabinoids

In this 2019 article published in Molecules, Palmieri et al. demonstrate their ability to use nine cannabinoids, a specific analytical method, and multivariate analysis—without any other identifying information—to identify the retailer of 161 hemp samples from four retailers. Highlighting the fact that simply using analyses of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) “to extrapolate the phytochemical composition of hemp” may be insufficient in some cases, the researchers turn to high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) and partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) to identify hemp sample origins. The authors note that using their techniques, “92% of the hemp samples were correctly classified by the cannabinoid variables in both fitting and cross-validation.” They conclude “that a simple chemical analysis coupled with a robust chemometric method could be a powerful tool for forensic purposes.”

Please to read the entire article.