Effects of long term storage on secondary metabolite profiles of cannabis resin.

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The structural identification and the monitoring of the relative concentrations of a wide range of major (3) and minor secondary (16) metabolites used as marker substances for profiling of cannabis resin using GC-FID at the Swedish National Forensic Centre (NFC) has facilitated the mapping of their chemical and physical behaviors over a period of 48months whilst stored under different conditions (exposure to light, exposure to air, temperature). In all cases the behavior of this group of sesquiterpenes, sesquiterpenoids, cannabinoids and waxes could be directly related to their chemical lability/functionality. In particular, the identification of homologue triads for both Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) together with a group of seemingly chemically inert substances (for example, cannabicyclol(CBL) and the waxes (n-alkanes)) has created new tools for the establishment of common origins between samples of cannabis resins aged under different conditions. Since sampling of the resin blocks in NFC’s method for profiling of cannabis resin is made below the surface, the effects of light incursion were found to be negligible. The effects of exposure to air (and indirectly temperature) were found to be more significant, not unexpectedly as many of the observed transformations were based on oxidation or rearrangement processes.

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