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Evolution of the Cannabinoid and Terpene Content during the Growth of Cannabis sativa Plants from Different Chemotypes


Publication by ACS

Abstract

The evolution of major cannabinoids and terpenes during the growth of Cannabis sativa plants was studied. In this work, seven different plants were selected: three each from chemotypes I and III and one from chemotype II. Fifty clones of each mother plant were grown indoors under controlled conditions. Every week, three plants from each variety were cut and dried, and the leaves and flowers were analyzed separately. Eight major cannabinoids were analyzed via HPLC-DAD, and 28 terpenes were quantified using GC-FID and verified via GC-MS. The chemotypes of the plants, as defined by the tetrahydrocannabinolic acid/cannabidiolic acid (THCA/CBDA) ratio, were clear from the beginning and stable during growth. The concentrations of the major cannabinoids and terpenes were determined, and different patterns were found among the chemotypes. In particular, the plants from chemotypes II and III needed more time to reach peak production of THCA, CBDA, and monoterpenes. Differences in the cannabigerolic acid development among the different chemotypes and between monoterpene and sesquiterpene evolution patterns were also observed. Plants of different chemotypes were clearly differentiated by their terpene content, and characteristic terpenes of each chemotype were identified.

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