CANNABIS SATIVA ESSENTIAL OIL EXTRACTION AND BEVERAGES AROMATIZATION WITH A BLEND OF TWO FIBRE HEMP CULTIVARS FLOWERS
Roberta Ascrizzi1, Matteo Iannone2, Giulia Cinque1, Guido Flamini1,3, Luisa Pistelli1,3
1 Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università di Pisa, Via Bonanno 6, 56126 Pisa, Italy
2 Circolo ARCI La Staffetta, Via Don Minzoni 29, Calci (PI), Italy
3 Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca “Nutraceutica e Alimentazione per la Salute” (NUTRAFOOD), Università di Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy
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Cannabis sativa L. has a well-established traditional use as a multi-purpose crop: its stems have been used since ancient times for fibre production, and its seeds are a high-value dietary product for humans and animals . The legal constraint of cannabis sativa complying with the Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) 0.2% threshold established by the EU legislation  has addressed breeding techniques towards an increase in fibre and seed yields . As a result, the leaves and inflorescences represent most of the threshing residue: the aim of this study was the evaluation of different methods to exploit this biomass. The cannabis sativa essential oil extraction is a simple method to obtain a value-added product, whose peculiar and generally well-liked aromatic profile exhibits an odour bouquet that heavily relies on the cultivar.
For this study, we extracted and characterized the EO from two cultivars (Uso 31 and Futura 75): mono- and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons were the most abundant chemical classes of compounds, mainly represented by α- and β-pinene, myrcene, terpinolene, β-caryophyllene and α-humulene. A blend of these two cultivar flowers was also used in the aromatization of an artisanal beer (Hempitaly) and of an artisanal liqueur, whose headspace compositions have been analysed to assess the aromatic contribution of the hemp flowers to their bouquet. As the latter is prepared without thermal or mechanical processes that cause an increment in the temperature, its headspace composition exhibited more monoterpene hydrocarbons deriving from the hemp contribution compared to the beer one.
Hemp-aromatised beer, http://www.arcilastaffetta.it/birre-a-filiera-toscana-hempitaly/indeed, showed a headspace dominated by the non-terpene compounds, mainly esters, showing minor differences compared to the control beer sample. Matrix-effect must also be taken into account. To comply with a greener approach, the hemp agriculture should consider C. sativa flowers as a further usable by-product, rather than a waste material, both for their use in the aromatization of beverage products, as well as the starting material for the extraction of essential oils.
Acknowledgements: the authors would like to thank Giacomo Carmazzi of the Azienda Agricola Carmazzi (Torre del Lago, Lucca, Italy) for the plant samples.
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