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Improved profiling of cannabis terpenes for accurate product labelling using GC×GC

LCGC: The Column, August 2020

Terpenes are major constituents of cannabis plants. They contribute to their aromas and flavours, and to therapeutic effects such as sedation or anxiety relief. Cannabis plants are often engineered to provide particular traits to make products that taste or smell pleasing for consumers or to enhance medicinal effects.

Comprehensive terpene profiles are required to enable plant breeders to choose the best cultivars (the plants selected for their desirable characteristics) and to ensure cannabis products are labelled accurately.

This article discusss how two-dimensional GC (GC×GC) coupled with mass spectrometry can be used to profile cannabis terpenes with enhanced separation, resulting in the confident identification of terpenes and improved flavour interpretation.

In addition, Tandem Ionisation® (using both soft- and hard-ionisation) was used to distinguish between terpene isomers, which is significant because their spectra would otherwise be close to identical.

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