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The phytochemical diversity of commercial Cannabis in the United States

The legal status of Cannabis is changing, fueling an increasing diversity of Cannabis-derived products. Because Cannabis contains dozens of chemical compounds with potential psychoactive or medicinal effects, understanding this phytochemical diversity is crucial. The legal Cannabis industry heavily markets products to consumers based on widely used labeling systems purported to predict the effects of different “strains.” We analyzed the cannabinoid and terpene content of commercial Cannabis samples across six US states, finding distinct chemical phenotypes (chemotypes) which are reliably present. By comparing the observed phytochemical diversity to the commercial labels commonly attached to Cannabis-derived product samples, we show that commercial labels do not consistently align with the observed chemical diversity. However, certain labels do show a biased association with specific chemotypes. These results have implications for the classification of commercial Cannabis, design of animal and human research, and regulation of consumer marketing—areas which today are often divorced from the chemical reality of the Cannabis-derived material they wish to represent.

The post The phytochemical diversity of commercial Cannabis in the United States appeared first on Society of Cannabis Clinicians.

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