Comprehensive cannabinoid profiling of acid-treated CBD samples and Δ8-THC-infused edibles

Si Huang, Teris A. van Beek, Frank W. Claassen, Hans Gerd Janssen, Ming Ma, Bo Chen*, Han Zuilhof, G.IJ. Salentijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Δ8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC) is increasingly popular as a controversial substitute for Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) in cannabinoid-infused edibles. Δ8-THC is prepared from cannabidiol (CBD) by treatment with acids. Side products including Δ9-THC and other isomers that might end up in Δ8-THC edibles are less studied. In this paper, three orthogonal methods, namely reversed-phase (RP)-UHPLC-DAD/HRMS, normal-phase/argentation (silica-Ag(I))-HPLC-DAD/MS, and GC-FID/MS were developed for analysis of cannabinoid isomers, namely Δ8-THC, Δ9-THC, CBD, Δ8-iso-THC, Δ(4)8-iso-THC, and hydrated THC isomers. Eight acid-treated CBD mixtures contained various amounts of Δ8-THC (0–89%, w/w%), high levels of Δ9-THC (up to 49%), Δ8-isoTHC (up to 55%), Δ(4)8-iso-THC (up to 17%), and three hydrated THC isomers. Commercial Δ8-THC gummies were also analyzed, and issues like overclaimed Δ8-THC, excessive Δ9-THC, undeclared Δ8-iso-THC, and Δ(4)8-iso-THC were found. These findings highlight the urgency of improving regulations towards converting CBD to Δ8-THC for use as food ingredients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number138187
JournalFood Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2024


  • Cannabinoids isomers
  • CBD conversion
  • Chromatographic analysis
  • Δ-THC
  • Δ-THC gummies


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