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Potency Testing of up to Sixteen Cannabinoids in Hemp-infused Edibles using Liquid Chromatography Diode Array Detector with Optional Confirmation of Identity by Electrospray Ionization Time-of-flight Mass Spectrometry

NCJ Number
Food Chemistry Volume: 417 Issue: 135819 Dated: August 2023
Liguo Song; Grant Meyer; Emmanuel Adejumo; Emily Jovanovich; Lindsey LeBlanc; Jake Provis
Date Published
36 pages

The objective of this study was to first develop and validate an LC-DAD method for potency testing of a minimum of fourteen cannabinoids recommended by the AOAC international, and then examine the method capability in the analysis of a broad range of hemp-infused edibles in the marketplace; the authors report solving several related problems, studying the use of methanol as an alternative solvent, and developing corresponding extraction procedures for hemp-infused edibles.


The authors report on their development and validation of an LC-DAD method for potency testing of up to sixteen cannabinoids; they also discuss the method’s application for analysis of twenty hemp-infused edibles encompassing a broad range of complex matrices. The method was validated according to ISO 17025 guidelines and met requirements. The authors extracted samples or their uniform water-dispersions, by methanol, under homogenization through pulverization and/or ultrasonication. By spiking abnormal cannabidiol, a cannabinoid not naturally present in hemp, into each sample, extraction recovery was tracked in real time, obtaining 90-108 percent in triplicates. The linear calibration range was between 0.008 and 10 percent (w/w) for each cannabinoid using a 250 µg/mL solution of hemp-infused edibles, except for drinks (sparkling water and tea), where it was between 0.0008 and 1 percent (w/w) using a 2.5 mg/mL solution. ESI/TOFMS confirmed a good method specificity, i.e., without any false positive identification of individual cannabinoid. Publisher Abstract Provided