Simple, quick and green isolation of cannabinoids from complex natural product extracts using sustainable mesoporous materials (Starbon®)†
The current process to purify cannabidiol (CBD) from C. sativa extract is long and intensive, requiring several steps such as winterification for 48 hours at −45 °C and high-temperature, high vacuum distillation. These processes are capital intensive and generate large amounts of toxic solvent waste. In contrast, the solid phase extraction (SPE) methodology proposed herein will change the way CBD is obtained, doing so in a single step that is fast and reusable. Furthermore, the new process is simple and easily implemented and does not require any intensive operator training. Starbon® A300 was successfully employed as the stationary phase in SPE taking Cannabis sativa extract in hexane to selectively physisorb the cannabinoids onto the surface, followed by ethanol to bring about desorption at up to 93% (by GC-FID). A similar one pot system was also proven, using Fedora hemp stem dust as feedstock, with extraction and adsorption in supercritical CO2 followed by desorption in ethanol.