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Multiresidue Method of Analysis of Pesticides in Medical Cannabis

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Three related analytical methods were developed and validated for the determination of pesticides in cannabis leaves, dried cannabis flowers, and cannabis oil. The methods follow the generic sequence of an acetonitrile extraction, followed by solid-phase extraction cleanup and analysis by HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS), GC-MS/MS, and GC-MS. These methods were developed to accommodate sample quantity and lipid content of the different matrices. Validation at a spiking level of 0.01 μg/g was successful for 39 pesticides in cannabis leaves and 40 pesticides in cannabis oil, and at 0.02 μg/g for 32 pesticides in cannabis flowers, with the majority of analytes showing recoveries within the acceptable range of 70–130%. With these methods established, unannounced inspections of Canadian licensed producers of cannabis revealed that out of 144 samples collected, 26 showed the presence of unauthorized pest control products.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Health Canada, Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Laboratory Services, Ottawa, ON K1A OC6, Canada

Publication date: November 1, 2018

This article was made available online on May 29, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Multiresidue Method of Analysis of Pesticides in Medical Cannabis".

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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