Date of Award
Forensic Science, M.S.
Recently, there has been a sharp rise in the use of cannabis products in the United States of America. This is largely due to decriminalization and legalization of marijuana across many states. However, marijuana remains illegal on the federal level because it contains the psychoactive component, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is currently listed as a schedule I drug by Drug Enforcement Agent (DEA), meaning there is no accepted medical use, but it has a high potential for abuse. Therefore, cannabis products such as hemp oil sold in the United States cannot a concentration greater than 0.3% THC.
The goal of this research project is to examine whether 5 commercial hemp oil products have less than the allowed THC concentration and determine the concentration of cannabidiol (CBD) via gas chromatography (GC) with flame ionization detector (FID) and mass selective detector (MSD). This research project described several experimental challenges of chemical analysis of CBD and THC in hemp oil via GC and development of experimental methods to quantify target compounds. Some experimental challenges described in this project are septum bleeding, degradation of target compounds, and decarboxylation of precursors. By the use of improved analytical method, CBD and THC in five hemp oil products were analyzed. It was found that CBD concentrations were significantly lower than advertised on the product label, and no traces of THC were detected from all samples.
Hsu, Emily, "Experimental Challenges in Chemical Analysis of CBD and THC in Hemp Oil via Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry" (2021). Forensic Science Master's Projects. 3.