A Colorimetric Method for the Rapid Estimation of the Total Cannabinoid Content in Cannabis Samples

. 2023 Jan 30;28(3):1303.

doi: 10.3390/molecules28031303.


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Neus Jornet-Martínez et al.




A colorimetric method for the estimation of the total content of cannabinoids in cannabis samples is proposed. The assay is based on the reaction of these compounds with the reagent Fast Blue B (FBB), which has been immobilized into polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The reaction and detection conditions have been established according to the results obtained for the individual cannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN), as well as for ethanolic extracts obtained from cannabis samples after ultrasonication. In contact with the extract and under basic conditions, the reagent diffuses from the PDMS device, producing a red-brown solution. The absorbances measured at 500 nm after only 1 min of exposure to the FBB/PDMS composites led to responses proportional to the amounts of the cannabinoids in the reaction media. Those absorbances have been then transformed in total cannabinoid content using CBD as a reference compound. The potential utility of the proposed conditions has been tested by analyzing different cannabis samples. The selectivity towards other plants and drugs has been also evaluated. The present method is proposed as a simple and rapid alternative to chromatographic methods for the estimation of the total content of cannabinoids.


Fast Blue B; cannabis; colorimetric analysis; total cannabinoids.

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