In the past decade, use of cannabinoids in the United States has increased tremendously. This increase has been primarily in marijuana-infused products, initially as food products and now as beverages. The three most common beverage matrices involve fermented (beer/ale), brewed (tea/coffee), and high sugar (soft drinks). Each of these matrices creates its own analytical challenges. Simple dilution methods with an aqueous or organic solvent are not plausible options for all beverages due to the potential for varying complex matrices (i.e., plant material, pulp, sugar, etc.), and the low solubility of cannabinoids in aqueous solvents.
In a recent presentation given by Dr.Carl E.Wolf at the world famous American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Anaheim, California, UCT’s Filter and Shoot (FASt ( FASt-THC) 200mg/3mL) cartridges were cited in a study into the analysis of cannabinoids in beverages. Dr. Wolf’s team looked at over 40 different methods for Process Efficiency (%PE). These included simple dilutions, rapid solid Phase Extraction (SPE), and Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, Safe (QuEChERS) methods, in which the aqueous and organic solvents were substituted or buffered in each method. To account for the low solubility of cannabinoids in aqueous solvents, the beverage was prepared by solubilizing the cannabinoids in an emulsion (surfactant [2% fruit pectin], carrier oil [12.6 % canola oil]), then adding the beverage (85.40%). %PE was determined at 14mcg/mL (5mg serving [n=3]) in two different sets of samples for each extraction method.
The %PEs for the UCT FASt THC cartridges for fermented, brewed, and sugar matrices were deemed to be the best of the 40 extraction procedures.