Determination of cannabinoids in hemp oil based cosmetic products by LC-tandem MS.J Food Drug Anal. 2021 09 15; 29(3):502-509.JF
Cosmetic products containing hemp seed oil as permitted raw materials required the specific compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) below 10 μg/g. THC was the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis. Since hemp seed oil became an increasingly popular ingredient in cosmetics over the last few years, an efficient and reliable analytical method for THC and other cannabinoids in cannabis-infused cosmetic products was in need. A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for the determination of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN) in hemp seed oil based cosmetic products was developed. Method validation was performed by fertilizing blank samples with analytes and internal standards (THC-d3, CBD-d3, and CBN-d3). Chromatographic method utilized a Xbridge BEH Shield RP18 column with gradient elution containing 10 mM ammonium formate in water and methanol provided successful separation of THC, CBD, and CBN in cosmetic matrix. The combination of MS detection in positive electrospray ionization (ESI) and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode offered rapid run time 13 minutes with limit of quantification (LOQ) of 0.05 μg/g. The intra- and inter-day recoveries were 79.23-114.04% and 83.55-111.61% with spiking levels ranged between 0.05 μg/g and 0.5 μg/g, respectively. Surveillance results of 90 cosmetic products showed 22, 34, and 5 products containing THC (0.06-1777 μg/g), CBD (0.47-37217 μg/g), and CBN (2.2-25.2 μg/g), respectively. This validated method offered accurate, reliable, and fast way for the determination of drug contaminations including THC, CBD, and CBN in cosmetics. The surveillance results for commercial cosmetic products purchased in Taiwan between 2018-2020 provided valuable background references for THC, CBD, and CBN in hemp seed oil based cosmetic products, and could be used for administration purpose.