Pesticides and trace elements in cannabis: Analytical and environmental challenges and opportunities

Caley B. Craven , Nicholas Wawryk , Ping Jiang , Zhongshan Liu , Xing-Fang Li


Received March 26, 2019,Revised , Accepted April 28, 2019, Available online May 09, 2019

Volume 31,2019,Pages 82-93

Cannabis is increasingly used for both medicinal and recreational purposes with an estimate of over 180 million users annually. Canada has recently legalized cannabis use in October 2018, joining several states in the United States of America (e.g., Colorado, California, and Oregon) and a few other countries. A variety of cannabis products including dry flowers, edibles, and oil products are widely consumed. With high demand for cannabis products worldwide, the quality of cannabis and its related products has become a major concern for consumer safety. Various guidelines have been set by different countries to ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of cannabis products. In general, these guidelines require control of contaminants including pesticides, toxic elements, mycotoxins, and pathogens, as well as residual solvents in regard to cannabis oil. Accordingly, appropriate analytical methods are required to determine these contaminants in cannabis products for quality control. In this review, we focus on the current analytical challenges and method development for detection of pesticides and toxic elements in cannabis to meet various guidelines.

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