Toxics. 2022 Feb 28;10(3):115. doi: 10.3390/toxics10030115.
The Raman analysis of marijuana is challenging because of the sample’s easy photo-degradation caused by the laser intensity. In this study, optimization of collection parameters and laser focusing on marijuana trichome heads allowed collecting Raman spectra without damaging the samples. The Raman spectra of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN) standard cannabinoids were compared with Raman spectra of five different types of marijuana: four Sativa varieties (Amnesia Haze, Amnesia Hy-Pro, Original Amnesia, and Y Griega) and one Indica variety (Black Domina). The results verified the presence of several common spectral bands that are useful for marijuana characterization. Results were corroborated by the quantum chemical simulated Raman spectra of their acid-form (tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA), cannabidiol acid (CBDA)) and decarboxylated cannabinoids (THC, CBD, and CBN). A chemometrics-assisted method based on Raman microscopy and OPLS-DA offered good classification among the different marijuana varieties allowing identification of the most significant spectral bands.