Quantitative Determination of Terpenes in Cannabis Using Headspace Solid Phase Microextraction and GC/MS


App Note 189/2017

Well known for their characteristic flavor and fragrance characteristics, terpenes are contained in the derived essential oils of cannabis. Analysis of cannabis for terpene concentrations can be applied to strain identification, referred to as fingerprinting, and for concentration accuracy when applied to medicinal treatments. Terpenes have high vapor pressures, are extremely volatile and thus are an excellent candidate for static headspace GC analysis. In this work, headspace SPME (HS-SPME) was combined with GC/ MS for the quantitative analysis of several selected terpenes in cannabis. The conventional approach for terpene analysis in cannabis involves a solvent extraction followed by GC/FID analysis. HS-SPME offers several advantages over the solvent extraction method in that it is non-destructive to the sample, requires a very small sample size, produces minimal interference from co-extracted matrix, protects the GC instrument from contamination, and can be easily automated.