The Conversion and Transfer of Cannabinoids from Cannabis to Smoke Stream in Cigarettes

Author(s): Elzinga S, Ortiz O, Raber JC


Cannabis cigarettes (100% cannabis) with various percentages of cannabinoids were smoked through an experimental setup, and cannabinoids in the mainstream, sidestream and ash were collected. The cannabis used for the experiments predominantly contained cannabinoid acids. Less than 0.5% of the originally present tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or cannabidiolic acid was recovered as carboxylic acids in the smoke stream, indicating almost complete decarboxylation of cannabinoid acids upon combustion. Recovery of the theoretically present amount of tetrahydrocannabinol from plant material in the smoke stream varied from 27.5-46.3% and an average over all the experiments of 36.9%. The recovery of the theoretically present amount of cannabidiol showed similar results with a range of recovery from 29.9-42.6%, with an average of 38.4%. On average over 50% of the cannabinoids originally present in the plant material could be recovered in the combined ash, mainstream and sidestream smoke. The missing mass balance is most likely caused by destruction of the cannabinoids upon combustion.

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