Tutorial review of cannabinoids published
Cannabinoids - compounds from the cannabis plant - are increasingly used in foodstuffs and food supplements, yet confusion remains around terminology, chemical make-up and regulation. Researchers at IGFS and the UK Government Chemist delved deeper
CBD edible products are now regulated as novel foods. They must also be compositionally safe and correctly labelled. Wide variation in compliance with CBD label claims has been recorded and the presence of controlled cannabinoids is a known risk.
To assist regulation and trade, researchers at IGFS alongside the Government Chemist team have published a tutorial review of the common names, abbreviations, regulation, psychoactivity and analytical methodology for the principle cannabinoids.
Their chemical structures and IUPAC nomenclature have also been included.
The abbreviations, common names and chemical structures for 16 cannabinoids are listed along with their International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) names, the unique scientific reference.
The paper is available at the Journal of the Association of Public Analysts (JAPA) and is open access through the support of the Association of Public Analysts.
Dr Michael Walker, an honorary Professor of Practice at IGFS, led the review along with IGFS Emeritus Professor, Duncan Thorburn Burns and colleagues at the Office of the UK Government Chemist. Dr Walker said:
"There is confusion about cannabinoid names, CBD, THC, CBG and so on, what do the abbreviations mean, are they related, which of these are psychoactive, and what levels of controlled cannabinoids might be tolerable in regulated CBD-products sold as foods or supplements?
"This paper reviews and explains these and many other aspects. We hope it will be of help to food businesses, those who regulate them and anyone with an interest in this fascinating topic."