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CBD, research development for an effective analysis protocol

The research aimed at developing a CBD analysis protocol continues in Italy, thanks to the collaboration between Mechs (Microbiome Endocannabinoids Center for Health) and the Edmund Mach foundation of San Michele all'Adige (TN).

CBD, qualitative-quantitative analysis and spectrophotometry

 of an innovative analytical protocol for CBD was launched in 2020 thanks to the synergy between Mech and Crabion, an analysis laboratory with decades of experience on cannabis as well as authorized for the treatment of tetrahydrocannabinol. (1) The basic idea was to superimpose the three types of analysis, qualitative (peak area), quantitative (titration) and spectrophotometric (wavelength).

The experimental study - conducted on CBD powder - had made it possible to detect how different products presented as 'organic' were actually adulterated both with synthetic CBD and with different unidentified substances. Among other things, this demonstrated the effective spread of fraud in a market that still continues to grow. However, this type of analysis lost its effectiveness in cases where CBD was emulsified in oil, creams or lotions.

CBD, CBG. Thriving market and widespread fraud

The CBD market records continuous growth, especially on the channel online and whose protagonists are among other things subject to rare and ineffective official controls. The phenomenon of the so-called cannabis light among other things, it has allowed the entry of many operators who, in a variable and uncertain regulatory context, are rarely able to offer effective guarantees of authenticity and compliance (eg. blockchain).

Every month in Europe, according to the estimates of sector operators, between 500 and 1.000 kg of CBD are traded, for a value between 10 and 20 million euros. The reintroduction of CBD and the inclusion of natural CBG in CosIng - the list of cosmetic ingredients admitted in the EU (2) - will at the same time stimulate the demand for these cannabinoids and the risks of fraud, even on cosmetic products that boast their presence.

Cannabinoid analysis, research development

Mech and Agorà Pharma - a company active in the production of branded natural CBD cosmetics Edonelle have started a collaboration with the Edmund Mach foundation for the analysis of isotope decay. This analytical technique - already used for example for vanillin, which was also invested in the past by fraud phenomena - is used to identify the original matrix even on products that contain cannabinoids as ingredients.

Analyzes have already been performed on 14 samples and will follow on other 11 already acquired. Cannabidiol of sure organic origin and that of sure synthetic origin develop marker very clear and recurring.
Operators interested in contributing to this research can contact info@mechealth.it to send samples whose analysis will allow them to better define and confirm the identified parameters.

The Good Hemp

The working group 'The Good Hemp', set up at Égalité Onlus, gathers sector operators - agricultural businesses that cultivate Cannabis Sativa L., galenic and analytical laboratories, processing companies, patient committees (3,4) - to promote development and enhance this supply chain under the aegis of integrity and the circular economy. (5)

The axiom hemp - health - well-being can find abstract evidence in the copious scientific literature that associates the consumption and / or application of some substances derived from Cannabis Sativa L. To a wide variety of benefits. But it must find concrete confirmation in the analysis reports that also demonstrate the absence of heavy metals, pesticide residues, solvents and other contaminants (eg mycotoxins).

Dario Dongo


(1) Dario Dongo. CBD, Italian protocol for the analysis of the authenticity of products. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 26.4.20, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/innovazione/cbd-protocollo-italiano-per-l-analisi-di-autenticità-dei-prodotti

(2) Dario Dongo. Hemp and cannabinoids, green light for the use of CBG in cosmetics in the EU. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 15.12.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/canapa-e-cannabinoidi-via-libera-all-utilizzo-del-cbg-nei-cosmetici-in-ue

(3) Dario Dongo. Good hemp. Egalité. 7.10.20, https://www.egalite.org/la-canapa-buona/

(4) Dario Dongo, Alessio Gaggiotti. Good hemp. Membership of laboratories and medical cannabis patients committee. Egalité. 31.1.21, https://www.egalite.org/la-canapa-buona-ladesione-di-laboratori-e-comitato-pazienti-cannabis-medica/

(5) Dario Dongo. Industrial hemp and circular economy. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 16.8.19, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/progresso/canapa-industriale-ed-economia-circolare

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.

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