A microwave distillation method was optimized for the extraction and isolation of cannabis essential oil from fresh and dried hemp inflorescences. The developed method enabled us to obtain a distilled product rich in terpenes and terpenoid compounds, responsible of the typical and unique smell of the cannabis plant. The distillate from different hemp cultivars, including Kompolti, Futura 75, Carmagnola, Felina 32 and Finola were characterized by using a gas chromatograph equipped with both mass spectrometer and flame ionization detectors. In a single chromatographic run, the identity and absolute amounts of distilled compounds were determined. Peak assignment was established using a reliable approach based on the usage of two identification parameters, named reverse match, and linear retention index filter. Absolute quantification (mg g−1) of the analytes was performed using an internal standard method applying the flame ionization detector (FID) response factors according to each chemical family. An enantio-GC-MS method was also developed in order to evaluate the enantiomeric distribution of chiral compounds, an analytical approach commonly utilized for establishing the authenticity of suspicious samples.
Micalizzi, G., et al. (2021). “Development of a Novel Microwave Distillation Technique for the Isolation of Cannabis sativa L. Essential Oil and Gas Chromatography Analyses for the Comprehensive Characterization of Terpenes and Terpenoids, Including Their Enantio-Distribution.” Molecules 26(6): 1588