Cannabinoid oil extracted from cannabis plants contains various cannabinoids such as Δ9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (Δ9-THC), which is a well-known psychoactive compound, and cannabidiol (CBD). Although one of the main objectives is to remove THC and pesticides, the demand of purifying rare cannabinoids such as cannabigerol (CBG) cannabinol (CBN) and cannabichromene (CBC) has been considerably increased.
Since the cannabinoids have very similar structures and similar chemical and physical properties, purifying them with high purity and yield is certainly a challenging task. In addition, robust scale-up of the purification process from few gram to Mton scale requires another level of expertise not only on the purification process but also the engineering requirement.
This application note presents the preparative HPLC purification of cannabinoids. The process was developed using a bench-top HPLC instrument and then directly scaled-up to Hipersep® Pilot with Prochrom® LC150 (150mm i.d.) for manufacturing.
Case study: how the purification process was successfully scaled-up.