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Centrifugal Partition Chromatography (CPC): A Greener Method for Efficient Purification of Cannabis-derived Compounds

Introduction

The Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae) plant contains more than 500 potentially active compounds. Of particular interest are the terpenoid and cannabinoid compounds, which include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), due to their wideranging therapeutic benefits. Specifically, CBD has been found to be effective for treating conditions, including pain, inflammation, and muscle spasticity in multiple sclerosis.1,2 The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Epidiolex®, the first cannabis-derived drug for treating children with rare forms of epilepsy. In addition to CBD, there is growing evidence to suggest that several other cannabisderived compounds may offer potential medical benefits, and research in this area continues to expand at a rapid pace.

As the number of therapeutic applications of these compounds grows, a method that can be used to isolate cannabis compounds that are free of impurities consistently is essential for both researchers and manufacturers. Ideally, this method would also minimize the impact on the environment. Here, we describe Centrifugal Partition Chromatography (CPC), an efficient and easily scalable approach for the extraction of highly pure cannabis compounds. Also, CPC is cost-effective and dramatically reduces solvent use resulting in a more environmentally-friendly, green method.

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