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The Preservation and Augmentation of Terpenes in Cannabis Inflorescence

Published: Mar 23, 2022   

Terpenes contribute to the pharmacology, efficacy, aroma, and flavor of
cannabis inflorescence, improving the experience for medical and recreational
users. Terpenes are inherently volatile, resulting in the loss of terpene
content as inflorescence ages. A novel method for the preservation of native
terpenes and the replenishment of terpenes to depleted inflorescence was
investigated. Inflorescence samples from two different chemotypes were obtained
from a state-licensed medical cannabis organization. Samples from the DJ’s Gold
chemotype were depleted of terpenes whereas samples from the Cream Caramel
chemotype had a terpene content representative of inflorescence available for
medicinal or recreational purposes. Inflorescence samples were stored using the
novel packaging approach, in airtight containers in the presence of external
terpenes. Control samples were similarly stored without external terpenes.
Terpene content of the inflorescence samples were quantitively determined by
headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS GC-MS) after various storage
durations. All samples stored using the novel packaging approach had a higher
terpene content than their corresponding control. Replenishment of terpenes to
depleted material was achieved. The largest augmentation was a 5.9-fold
increase in the terpene content of an inflorescence sample. The terpene profile
of inflorescence samples from two separate harvests were selectively adjusted,
reducing the percent difference of the two sample’s terpene profiles by 39.5%.
A successful proof of concept was achieved for preservation, augmentation, and
replenishment of terpenes to cannabis inflorescence over various storage
durations. Inflorescence stored using the novel packaging approach is a
significant step towards providing patients with cannabis inflorescence of
reproducible and reliable terpene content, an important component of
inflorescence efficacy. The novel approach for replenishment of terpenes to
depleted inflorescence represents an exciting development for patients and
manufacturers. Bueno, Justin, et al. "The preservation and augmentation of
volatile terpenes in cannabis inflorescence." Journal of Cannabis Research
2.1 (2020): 1-11.

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