Front Microbiol. 2022 Apr 11;13:760374. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.760374. eCollection 2022.


Forensic laboratories are required to have analytical tools to confidently differentiate illegal substances such as marijuana from legal products (i.e., industrial hemp). The Achilles heel of industrial hemp is its association with marijuana. Industrial hemp from the Cannabis sativa L. plant is reported to be one of the strongest natural multipurpose fibers on earth. The Cannabis plant is a vigorous annual crop broadly separated into two classes: industrial hemp and marijuana. Up until the eighteenth century, hemp was one of the major fibers in the United States. The decline of its cultivation and applications is largely due to burgeoning manufacture of synthetic fibers. Traditional composite materials such as concrete, fiberglass insulation, and lumber are environmentally unfavorable. Industrial hemp exhibits environmental sustainability, low maintenance, and high local and national economic impacts. The 2018 Farm Bill made way for the legalization of hemp by categorizing it as an ordinary agricultural commodity. Unlike marijuana, hemp contains less than 0.3% of the cannabinoid, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound which gives users psychotropic effects and confers illegality in some locations. On the other hand, industrial hemp contains cannabidiol found in the resinous flower of Cannabis and is purported to have multiple advantageous uses. There is a paucity of investigations of the identity, microbial diversity, and biochemical characterizations of industrial hemp. This review provides background on important topics regarding hemp and the quantification of total tetrahydrocannabinol in hemp products. It will also serve as an overview of emergent microbiological studies regarding hemp inflorescences. Further, we examine challenges in using forensic analytical methodologies tasked to distinguish legal fiber-type material from illegal drug-types.

PMID:35479622 | PMC:PMC9038041 | DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2022.760374

Source: ncbi

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