Quantitative Analysis of Residual Solvents in Hemp Oil by Full Evaporation Headspace Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometry

Abstract

The number of cannabis containing products, such as extracts, tinctures, edibles, waxes and oils, available in the United States has increased significantly due to changes in state law and the 2018 Farm Bill. Cannabis concentrates are legally manufactured for both medicinal and recreational use and are quickly becoming more commonly used than the Cannabis sativa flower. The concentrates containing cannabinoids and terpenes are typically extracted from plant material using a solvent such as supercritical CO2, butane, propane, other hydrocarbons, water or alcohol. Residual solvents and solvent impurities in the extracted material can be a cause for concern. There is a need for an analytical methodology to determine the amount of solvent present in these concentrates to ensure consumer safety and to perform quality control. This study describes the use of the GERSTEL MultiPurpose Sampler (MPS robotic) with automated headspace option for the analysis of residual solvents in hemp oil samples by full evaporation technique headspace gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (FET-HS-GC/MS)[1]. The technique is fast, accurate and precise and enables quantitation of the analytes of interests (solvents, etc.) within the allowable concentration limits for the State of California.