Cannabis smoke condensate II: influence of tobacco on tetrahydrocannabinol levels

Author(s): Van der Kooy F, Pomahacova B, Verpoorte R


Medicinal cannabis has attracted a lot of attention in recent times. Various forms of administration are used, of which smoking is very common but the least desirable. Smoking cannabis generates a large amount of unwanted side products, of which carcinogenic compounds are the most dangerous. A common practice among recreational drug users, and to a lesser degree patients who uses cannabis as medicine, is to mix the cannabis material with commercially available tobacco in order to increase the burning efficiency of the cigarette and to reduce the overall costs of the cigarette. In this study cannabis material has been mixed with tobacco in order to determine whether tobacco has an influence on the amount of and ratio between tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN) administered while smoking. A small-scale smoking machine has been used and cannabis mixed with various ratios of tobacco was smoked. The trapped smoke was quantitatively analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the amount of THC, CBG, and CBN was determined for each cigarette. We have found that tobacco increases the amount of THC inhaled per gram of cannabis from 32.70 +/- 2.29 mg/g for a 100% cannabis cigarette to 58.90 +/- 2.30 mg/g for a 25% cannabis cigarette. This indicates that tobacco increases the vaporization efficiency of THC by as much as 45% under the conditions tested.

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