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Front Pharmacol. 2019 Jan 17;9:1543. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.01543. eCollection 2018.

Galenic Preparations of Therapeutic Cannabis sativa Differ in Cannabinoids Concentration: A Quantitative Analysis of Variability and Possible Clinical Implications.

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Section of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Neurosciences, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
Tuscan Regional Centre of Pharmacovigilance and Phytovigilance, Florence, Italy.
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
Center for Integrative Medicine, Careggi University Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
Clinical Toxicology Laboratory, Local Health Service, Florence, Italy.


Introduction: Magistral preparations of therapeutic cannabis are extracted from standardized products imported from Holland or from the Florence Military Pharmaceutical Chemical Works, but extraction protocols differ among galenic laboratories. This study assessed the inter-laboratory variability in concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) among different magistral oil preparations. Methods: 219 samples of Bediol, Bedrobinol, Bedrolite or FM-2 70 or 100 mg/ml in oil were collected from 3 laboratories. Concentrations of CBD, CBN, THC, and THCA were quantified by high-pressure liquid chromatography; inter-laboratories variability was assessed using the Kruskal-Wallis test. Results: A significant variability in CBD and THC concentrations was found for Bediol 70 mg/ml samples from 2 laboratories [for CBD: median 5.4 (range 4.8-6.6) vs. 6.1 (4.9-7.2) mg/ml, p = 0.033; for THC: 3.6 (3.1-3.9) vs. 4.0 (2.6-5.1) mg/ml, p = 0.020]. As for Bediol 100 mg/ml, a significant variability emerged in THC concentrations among the three considered laboratories [5.7 (-) vs. 4.2 (1.5-4.8) vs. 5.2 (4.2-6.9), p = 0.030]. No significant inter-laboratory variability emerged for Bedrocan and Bedrolite. Concentrations of CBD, CBN, and THC were <LOQ in all Bedrocan samples, and CBN and THCA were <LOQ in all Bedrolite samples. As for FM-2, a significant inter-laboratories variability was found for CBD concentrations. Conclusion: Quantitative variability of cannabinoids in magistral preparations might impact on the efficacy and safety of therapeutic cannabis. A standardized protocol is needed to guarantee a homogeneous product and patients' therapeutic continuity.


Bediol®; Bedrocan®; Bedrolite®; FM-2®; cannabis; concentrations variability; galenic preparations

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