Efficient Capture of Cannabis Terpenes in Olive Oil during Microwave-Assisted Cannabinoid Decarboxylation

Molecules. 2024 Feb 18;29(4):899. doi: 10.3390/molecules29040899.


The development of selective extraction protocols for Cannabis-inflorescence constituents is still a significant challenge. The characteristic Cannabis fragrance can be mainly ascribed to monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and oxygenated terpenoids. This work investigates the entrapment of Cannabis terpenes in olive oil from inflorescences via stripping under mild vacuum during the rapid microwave-assisted decarboxylation of cannabinoids (MW, 120 °C, 30 min) and after subsequent extraction of cannabinoids (60 and 100 °C). The profiles of the volatiles collected in the oil samples before and after the extraction step were evaluated using static headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME), followed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Between the three fractions obtained, the first shows the highest volatile content (~37,400 mg/kg oil), with α-pinene, β-pinene, β-myrcene, limonene and trans-β-caryophyllene as the main components. The MW-assisted extraction at 60 and 100 °C of inflorescences using the collected oil fractions allowed an increase of 70% and 86% of total terpene content, respectively. Considering the initial terpene amount of 91,324.7 ± 2774.4 mg/kg dry inflorescences, the percentage of recovery after decarboxylation was close to 58% (mainly monoterpenes), while it reached nearly 100% (including sesquiterpenes) after extraction. The selective and efficient extraction of volatile compounds, while avoiding direct contact between the matrix and extraction solvents, paves the way for specific applications in various aromatic plants. In this context, aromatized extracts can be employed to create innovative Cannabis-based products within the hemp processing industry, as well as in perfumery, cosmetics, dietary supplements, food, and the pharmaceutical industry.

PMID:38398651 | PMC:PMC10893475 | DOI:10.3390/molecules29040899