Multidimensional analysis of cannabis volatile constituents: Identification of 5,5-dimethyl-1- vinylbicyclo[2.1.1]hexane as a volatile marker of Hashish, the resin of Cannabis sativa L.

Published: November 2014

Abstract: The volatile constituents of drug samples derived from Cannabis sativa L. were investigated by means of headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and gas chromatography techniques (GC-MS, GC × GC-MS). Samples of cannabis herb and hashish showed clear differences in their volatile chemical profiles, mostly resulting from photo oxidation processes occurring during the transformation of fresh cannabis herb into hashish.

Most unexpectedly, we could demonstrate hashish samples as containing remarkable amounts of a rare and unusual monoterpene—5,5-dimethyl-1-vinylbicyclo[2.1.1]hexane—among the volatile compounds detected in their headspaces. We gave evidence for the formation of this compound from the light induced rearrangement of -myrcene during the manufacture of hashish. In view of its high abundance among volatile constituents of cannabis resin and its scarce occurrence in other natural volatile extracts, we propose to rename this specific monoterpene hashishene.