The project consists in the development of innovative methods for determining tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in cannabis samples and cannabidiol products. In the latter samples, the concentration of THC is strictly limited to 0.2%. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the molecule known for its medicinal qualities in these products. Having effective measurement tools to control the quality of various over-the-counter products in Belgium is a current public health priority.
The doctoral research project, lead jointly by Sciensano and the « Université libre de Bruxelles », aims to develop reliable qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques to detect and quantify the main cannabinoids — and other substances present to be detected that may be responsible for adverse effects — and determine their compliance with the Belgian legislation.
As a first step, a rapid analytical method for the deterrmination of THC and CBD levels in hemp will be developed. This will make it possible to conclude during a check whether the rate in these substances exceeds or not the limit allowed in Belgium.
Given the increase in sales of various CBD-based products, the project will also focus on their analysis. Current Belgian legislation is unclear and does not allow the sale of these products. The purpose is to evaluate the quality of over–the-counter products and to assess their risk.
The project presents an analytical development part and an applied sciences aspect. Its purpose is to facilitate decision-making during inspections. In addition, a survey of the different levels of cannabinoids present in CBD products encountered in Belgium will be carried out. The project will thus contribute to improving the quality and controls of CBD-products sold freely on the Belgian market.