The chemical compositions of by-products from commercial cannabidiol (CBD) extraction were characterized and quantitated employing gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and gas chromatography flame-ionization detection (GC-FID). The four major by-products included an ethanol-wax suspension (WAX), terpenoid distillate (DIST-A), tar-like residue (TAR), and red resin (RES). The composition of WAX consisted of ~28 wt % n-alkanes and ~33-38 wt % cannabidiolic acid and CBD combined. The DIST-A consisted of ~40 wt % sesquiterpenoids and ~58 wt % cannabinoids. The DIST-A terpenoid profile was compared to dried unprocessed inflorescences (HEMP) to observe changes after the distillation process. The TAR was composed of ~5-9 wt % higher n-alkanes and up to 91 wt % cannabinoids, while RES consisted of up to 99 wt % cannabinoids. Several impurities including cannabidibutol and dehydroabietic acid were identified in commercial CBD samples. Compositional information of these by-products can provide manufacturers with the opportunity to optimize processing conditions.
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