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Analysis of cannabis seizures in NSW, Australia: cannabis potency and cannabinoid profile.
PLoS One 2013; 8(7):e70052Plos

Abstract

Recent analysis of the cannabinoid content of cannabis plants suggests a shift towards use of high potency plant material with high levels of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and low levels of other phytocannabinoids, particularly cannabidiol (CBD). Use of this type of cannabis is thought by some to predispose to greater adverse outcomes on mental health and fewer therapeutic benefits. Australia has one of the highest per capita rates of cannabis use in the world yet there has been no previous systematic analysis of the cannabis being used. In the present study we examined the cannabinoid content of 206 cannabis samples that had been confiscated by police from recreational users holding 15 g of cannabis or less, under the New South Wales "Cannabis Cautioning" scheme. A further 26 "Known Provenance" samples were analysed that had been seized by police from larger indoor or outdoor cultivation sites rather than from street level users. An HPLC method was used to determine the content of 9 cannabinoids: THC, CBD, cannabigerol (CBG), and their plant-based carboxylic acid precursors THC-A, CBD-A and CBG-A, as well as cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THC-V). The "Cannabis Cautioning" samples showed high mean THC content (THC+THC-A = 14.88%) and low mean CBD content (CBD+CBD-A = 0.14%). A modest level of CBG was detected (CBG+CBG-A = 1.18%) and very low levels of CBC, CBN and THC-V (<0.1%). "Known Provenance" samples showed no significant differences in THC content between those seized from indoor versus outdoor cultivation sites. The present analysis echoes trends reported in other countries towards the use of high potency cannabis with very low CBD content. The implications for public health outcomes and harm reduction strategies are discussed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia. w.swift@unsw.edu.auNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23894589

Citation

Swift, Wendy, et al. "Analysis of Cannabis Seizures in NSW, Australia: Cannabis Potency and Cannabinoid Profile." PloS One, vol. 8, no. 7, 2013, pp. e70052.
Swift W, Wong A, Li KM, et al. Analysis of cannabis seizures in NSW, Australia: cannabis potency and cannabinoid profile. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(7):e70052.
Swift, W., Wong, A., Li, K. M., Arnold, J. C., & McGregor, I. S. (2013). Analysis of cannabis seizures in NSW, Australia: cannabis potency and cannabinoid profile. PloS One, 8(7), pp. e70052. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070052.
Swift W, et al. Analysis of Cannabis Seizures in NSW, Australia: Cannabis Potency and Cannabinoid Profile. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(7):e70052. PubMed PMID: 23894589.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Analysis of cannabis seizures in NSW, Australia: cannabis potency and cannabinoid profile. AU - Swift,Wendy, AU - Wong,Alex, AU - Li,Kong M, AU - Arnold,Jonathon C, AU - McGregor,Iain S, Y1 - 2013/07/24/ PY - 2013/03/17/received PY - 2013/06/12/accepted PY - 2013/7/30/entrez PY - 2013/7/31/pubmed PY - 2014/2/22/medline SP - e70052 EP - e70052 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS ONE VL - 8 IS - 7 N2 - Recent analysis of the cannabinoid content of cannabis plants suggests a shift towards use of high potency plant material with high levels of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and low levels of other phytocannabinoids, particularly cannabidiol (CBD). Use of this type of cannabis is thought by some to predispose to greater adverse outcomes on mental health and fewer therapeutic benefits. Australia has one of the highest per capita rates of cannabis use in the world yet there has been no previous systematic analysis of the cannabis being used. In the present study we examined the cannabinoid content of 206 cannabis samples that had been confiscated by police from recreational users holding 15 g of cannabis or less, under the New South Wales "Cannabis Cautioning" scheme. A further 26 "Known Provenance" samples were analysed that had been seized by police from larger indoor or outdoor cultivation sites rather than from street level users. An HPLC method was used to determine the content of 9 cannabinoids: THC, CBD, cannabigerol (CBG), and their plant-based carboxylic acid precursors THC-A, CBD-A and CBG-A, as well as cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THC-V). The "Cannabis Cautioning" samples showed high mean THC content (THC+THC-A = 14.88%) and low mean CBD content (CBD+CBD-A = 0.14%). A modest level of CBG was detected (CBG+CBG-A = 1.18%) and very low levels of CBC, CBN and THC-V (<0.1%). "Known Provenance" samples showed no significant differences in THC content between those seized from indoor versus outdoor cultivation sites. The present analysis echoes trends reported in other countries towards the use of high potency cannabis with very low CBD content. The implications for public health outcomes and harm reduction strategies are discussed. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23894589/Analysis_of_cannabis_seizures_in_NSW_Australia:_cannabis_potency_and_cannabinoid_profile_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -