(Received 21 September 1987; accepted 11 February 1988)
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High-resolution capillary gas chromatography with flame ionization detection and mass spectrometry (GC and GC/MS) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were used to establish complex chemical profiles (chemical signatures) of Cannabis samples of known origin. Over 100 compounds could be differentiated, including noncannabinoids (terpenes, alkanes) as well as minor and major cannabinoids and their acids. A characteristic peak pattern was found within a limited number of specimens of identical origin. Correlation studies on the basis of peak area ratios [A(x)/A(i.s.)] showed the feasibility of tracing Cannabis chemically to its country of origin. Several forensic science applications for the chromatographic and spectroscopic profiles of confiscated Cannabis samples are discussed, such as detection of additives (phencyclidine), differentiation of chemotypes, and monitoring of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potency.
Research professor, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, University, MS
Visiting scientist, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, University, MS
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