First systematic evaluation of the potency of Cannabis sativa plants grown in Albania.Forensic Sci Int. 2012 Oct 10; 222(1-3):40-6.FS
Cannabis products (marijuana, hashish, cannabis oil) are the most frequently abused illegal substances worldwide. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa plant, whereas cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) are other major but no psychoactive constituents. Many studies have already been carried out on these compounds and chemical research was encouraged due to the legal implications concerning the misuse of marijuana. The aim of this study was to determine THC, CBD and CBN in a significant number of cannabis samples of Albanian origin, where cannabis is the most frequently used drug of abuse, in order to evaluate and classify them according to their cannabinoid composition. A GC-MS method was used, in order to assay cannabinoid content of hemp samples harvested at different maturation degree levels during the summer months and grown in different areas of Albania. This method can also be used for the determination of plant phenotype, the evaluation of psychoactive potency and the control of material quality. The highest cannabinoid concentrations were found in the flowers of cannabis. The THC concentrations in different locations of Albania ranged from 1.07 to 12.13%. The influence of environmental conditions on cannabinoid content is discussed. The cannabinoid content of cannabis plants were used for their profiling, and it was used for their classification, according to their geographical origin. The determined concentrations justify the fact that Albania is an area where cannabis is extensively cultivated for illegal purposes.