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Defining a Quality Metric for Terpene Preservation and Stability of Cannabis Flower Related to Packaging Component Systems and Degradation

Published: Sep 08, 2021   
 

Speaking in October 2020 at the Analytical Cannabis Expo East Online, Andrew Samann from OrionGMP, discussed his latest research on terpene degradation and preservation in packaging.

Abstract: Cannabis flower is a botanical drug substance whose medicinal and lifestyle use cases have impacted humanity on a global level. The unique combination of phytochemicals found in cannabis flower produces a myriad of ubiquitous effects that have inspired humans to nurture and cultivate its seeds dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks. While current and scientifically-robust studies corroborate the interplay between cannabis flower and its effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), including the propensity for an increase or decrease of brainwaves within the Brodmann regions as directed by an individual’s ECS “type,” clinical recognition of terpenoid significance relating to these effects is incomplete.


In acknowledgment of the synergistic effects of cannabinoids and terpenoids on human physiology, Save The Terps.org has commissioned an unprecedented study to address the question of user experience due to terpenoid quality, type, potency, and stability. As supply chains have grown in complexity, and regulations have increased holding time requirements, shelf life is becoming increasingly important. In countries such as Canada, for example, where the supply of cannabis exceeds the demand, loss of terpenes is equivalent not only to loss of revenue but ultimately, brand credibility.

This ongoing stability study aims to define the quality metrics of cannabis flower and terpenoids utilizing commercially available samples in the state of California. Samples of known cultivars housed within various packaging component systems were collected and analyzed for terpenoid content, moisture level, water activity, and other quality metrics. Authentic reference specimens that were cultivated, harvested, dried, cured, and packaged, under controlled conditions were then compared to commercially available samples. Results and figures of this study will be reported on and explained within the context of a quality metric for cannabis flower. This study further quantifies degradation in relation to packaging component solutions for finished cannabis flower product and their relative stability.


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