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Why Does Cannabis Smell Skunky? New Compounds Detected With 2D Gas Chromatography

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As hashish is legalized in additional areas, it has grow to be more and more standard as a medicinal and leisure drug. This plant produces a pungent, skunk-like odor that’s pleasing to some however repulsive to others. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Omega have found a brand new household of prenylated risky sulfur compounds (VSCs) that give hashish its attribute skunky aroma. The findings open up alternatives to research the molecules for medicinal advantages, the researchers say.

Cannabis sativa L. produces greater than 200 identified aroma compounds. Prior research have targeted primarily on terpenoids — molecules that vary in odor from fuel-like to woody, citrusy or floral. Completely different hashish cultivars have numerous mixtures of those compounds that contribute to their distinctive aromas. Nevertheless, though terpenoids are essentially the most ample aroma compounds in hashish, there may be little proof that they supply the underlying skunk-like odor of many cultivars. Skunks use a number of VSCs of their smelly protection sprays, so Iain Oswald and colleagues suspected that there could possibly be comparable molecules in hashish. The staff determined to make use of delicate analytical methods to search out out.

The researchers analyzed flowers from 13 hashish cultivars utilizing a custom-built 2D fuel chromatography system with three various kinds of detectors. Then, a four-person panel ranked the pungency of the cultivars on a scale from 0 to 10. Essentially the most pungent one, referred to as Bacio Gelato, had the very best focus of VSCs. The staff recognized seven VSCs on this cultivar, a few of which had been additionally current in different cultivars. 5 of the VSCs contained the prenyl useful group and had skunk-like or sulfuric aromas. One compound specifically, 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, known as VSC3, was essentially the most ample VSC within the cultivars that the panel reported to be most pungent. This compound has beforehand been implicated within the taste and aroma of “skunked beer” — beer that goes unhealthy after being uncovered to UV gentle.

To substantiate that VSC3 was the primary supply of the skunk-like aroma, the staff added it to a combination of 10 different main aroma compounds from hashish, producing a mixed odor similar to the attribute scent of hashish. In addition they detected VSC3 in hashish concentrates, akin to these used for vaping. Lastly, in greenhouse experiments, the researchers decided that the prenylated VSCs elevated considerably towards the top of the flowering stage of hashish progress, reached a most throughout curing after which dropped considerably after 10 days of storage. As a result of the molecular buildings of the VSCs resemble compounds from garlic which have anti-cancer and cardioprotective results, the brand new household of prenylated odor molecules ought to be investigated for medicinal properties, the researchers say.

Reference: “Identification of a New Household of Prenylated Risky Sulfur Compounds in Cannabis Revealed by Complete Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography” by Iain W. H. Oswald, Marcos A. Ojeda, Ryan J. Pobanz, Kevin A. Koby, Anthony J. Buchanan, Josh Del Rosso, Mario A. Guzman and Thomas J. Martin, 12 November 2021, ACS Omega.
DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.1c04196

The authors don’t acknowledge any exterior funding sources for this examine. Three of the authors have filed a patent associated to the findings.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit group chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the advantage of Earth and all its folks. The Society is a world chief in selling excellence in science schooling and offering entry to chemistry-related info and analysis by way of its a number of analysis options, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly information periodical Chemical & Engineering Information. ACS journals are among the many most cited, most trusted and most learn inside the scientific literature; nonetheless, ACS itself doesn’t conduct chemical analysis. As a pacesetter in scientific info options, its CAS division companions with world innovators to speed up breakthroughs by curating, connecting and analyzing the world’s scientific information. ACS’ major workplaces are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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