Potential of NIRS technology for the determination of cannabinoid content in industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.)

There are many approved methods for analyzing the cannabinoids from a given sample of the Cannabis plant, though some of them have downsides for the analyst. This is particularly notable in sample with significant quantities of acidic cannabinoids, which decarboxylate to their neutral cannabinoids with heat. This usually requires more non-destructive methods, such as near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). In this 2022 journal article, Jarén et al. of Universidad Pública de Navarra and Genscore Navarra S.L. in Spain provide their take on using NIRS methods combined with chemometric techniques to get quality results in analyzing cannabinoids, in comparison to using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). After introducing the current background on analytical methods for cannabinoid analysis, the authors describe their methodology and results. They conclude that “[t]he results obtained here demonstrate that NIR spectroscopy offers speed and simplicity unmatched by other traditional techniques.” They add that “[a]ccordingly, it was tested as an alternative to conventional HPLC analysis for the evaluation of cannabinoid content, with promising results.”

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