VOCs as fingerprints for the chemical profiling of hashish samples analyzed by HS-SPME/GC–MS and multivariate statistical tools
The statistical evaluation of the chemical profile of seized hashish samples is a valuable tool to aid the estimation of the route through which the material has reached the dealers’ market.
In this study, the complete volatile organic compound (VOC) emission profiles of 48 seized hashish samples have been analyzed by means of headspace solid-phase microextraction/gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and evaluated with chemometric tools; multivariate statistical analyses, both hierarchical cluster analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) methods have been performed on the results to assess the existence of possible patterns throughout the samples.
The total VOC emission profiles sharply distributed the samples in clusters based on their batches of origin; this trend was also clearly shown in the PCA plot, in which samples coming from the same seizure were grouped together. The Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content analysis did not show a relevant trend in terms of lot of origin of the samples.
The evaluation of the VOCs released into the headspace traced a much more complete chemical profiling of the samples, as compared to the analysis of cannabinoids only, or the THC titration. The multivariate statistical analyses were very useful to estimate the origin of the seized material.
KeywordsHashish VOCs Cannabis sativa Multivariate statistical analyses HS-SPME/GC–MS Seizures
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
- 1.World Health Organization (2016) The health and social effects of nonmedical Cannabis use. WHO Document Production Services, Geneva (NLM classification: VM 296) Google Scholar
- 2.United Nations (1972) Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, As amended by the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961. United Nations, New York, pp 1–44Google Scholar
- 3.Arnoldi S, Roda G, Casagni E, Dell’Acqua L, Cas MD, Fare F, Rusconi C, Visconti GL, Gambaro V (2017) Characterization of the volatile components of cannabis preparations by solid-phase microextraction coupled to headspace-gas chromatography with mass detector (SPME-HSGC/MS). J Chromatogr Sep Tech 8:350. https://doi.org/10.4172/2157-7064.1000350
- 5.UNODC (2017) Market analysis of plant-based drugs: opiates, cocaine, cannabis, World Drug Report 2017. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, ViennaGoogle Scholar
- 9.Marchini M, Charvoz C, Dujourdy L, Baldovini N, Filippi J-J (2014) Multidimensional analysis of cannabis volatile constituents: identification of 5,5-dimethyl-1-vinylbicyclo[2.1.1]hexane as a volatile marker of hashish, the resin of Cannabis sativa L. J Chromatogr A 1370:200–215. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2014.10.045 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 10.UNODC (2009) Guidelines on representative drug sampling. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, ViennaGoogle Scholar
- 11.Stenhagen E, Abrahamsson S, McLafferty FW (1974) Registry of mass spectral data. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 12.Masada Y (1976) Analysis of essential oils by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 13.Jennings W, Shibamoto T (1982) Qualitative analysis of flavor and fragrance volatiles by glass capillary gas chromatography. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 15.Adams RP (1995) Identification of essential oil components by gas chromatography/quadrupole mass spectroscopy. Allured Publishing Corporation, Carol StreamGoogle Scholar
- 17.Higashikawa FS, Cayuela ML, Roig A, Silva CA, Sánchez-Monedero MA (2013) Matrix effect on the performance of headspace solid phase microextraction method for the analysis of target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in environmental samples. Chemosphere 93:2311–2318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.08.023 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar