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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Chemometrics and metabolomics of Cannabis sativa L. Mudge, Elizabeth Margaret


Cannabis is a domesticated crop that has a long history of medical and recreational use. Strains have been selected through informal breeding programs with undisclosed parentage and criteria. The term ‘strain’ refers to minor morphological differences and grower branding rather than distinct stabilized varieties. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are significant variations in pharmacological effects of different strains, for which the phytochemicals responsible are unknown. The overall objective of this research was to develop analytical methodologies and metabolomic tools to characterize the phytochemical diversity of Cannabis strains within the Canadian marketplace. The expected outcomes were to understand phytochemical relationships caused by domestication and the varying pharmacological effects of the strains. A method was optimized and validated for the quantitation of ten cannabinoids in Cannabis flowers. With nine test materials, the relative standard deviations ranged from 0.78 to 10.08 % with intermediate precision HorRat values of 0.3 to 2.0. In the thirty-three Canadian market samples, the two cannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and cannabidiolic acid contents ranged from 0.76 to 20.71% and

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