Cannabis sativa seeds homogenization with Minilys for real-time PCR - Bertin Technologies

Cannabis sativa seeds homogenization with Minilys for real-time PCR

Department for Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Institute for Food Safety Vienna, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, Spargelfeldstrasse 191, 1220, Vienna, Austria


Cannabis plants have a long history of being used for recreational, medicinal, and religious purposes. Over the past decades, to counteract its use as a recreative drug, most world authorities have banned all Cannabis varieties without making a distinction based on the content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active principle responsible for Cannabis psychotropic effect. However, recently, some countries have authorized the cultivation of hemp (Cannabis sativa) cultivars characterized by a low amount of THC. Since then, the benefits of hemp have attracted widespread attention in the food and wellness industry. Hemp leaves are rich in CBD (cannabidiol) which has well-documented anxiolytic, spasmolytic, as well as anticonvulsant effects. On the other hand, hemp seeds exhibit a pleasant taste and are a valuable source of nutrients such as amino acids, fatty acids, and fibers.

Consequently, an increasing number of food producers have started using hemp as an ingredient in their products. To ensure consumer safety, reliable methods to verify and quantify the presence of Cannabis sativa (hemp) in food will be needed. In this study, a real-time PCR method was developed to allow the precise detection of infinitesimal hemp traces in food samples. Here, DNA extracted from hemp seeds with the Minilys homogenizer was used to determine the optimal primer and probe concentrations for this PCR method.


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