Application of the Marijuana Fingerprint System to Analysis of Hashish Samples

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The fingerprints of hashish exhibits are expected to differ greatly from those of marijuana because hashish is a product of Cannabis processed to concentrate the cannabinoids, primarily THC. For this study the GC/MS data of the hashish samples were obtained using the same fingerprint template developed for marijuana, not a new set of chromatographic peaks specific to the typical hashish profile.

Five countries were represented in the 68 hashish exhibits provided for the study, but only three broad regions: South America (Colombia), the Middle East (Lebanon), and Southwest Asia (Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan). A model based on the five countries produced correct classifications at rates of 67% Colombia, 100% Lebanon, 50% Afghanistan, 67% India, and 73% Pakistan. Because it was noted that the misclassified Afghan, Indian, and Pakistani exhibits all fell in the other Asian classes, those countries were combined, and a second model was created with South America, Middle East, and Southwest Asia as the classes. In the second model, Southwest Asia had 98% correct hits, whereas Colombia and Lebanon were 67 and 100%, respectively, leading us to postulate that the manufacturing methods particular to a region may induce distinct differences in the chemical profiles of hashish. The anomalies in the Colombian samples were attributed to the small number of available exhibits.

Although the Cannabis fingerprint system as designed for marijuana reliably determined the origins of hashish samples, a fingerprint based on the actual peaks found in hashish chromatograms would undoubtedly improve the accuracy. Additionally, a study of a marijuana profile compared with the profile of hashish made from that same marijuana could offer insight into the design of a hashish database.

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