Although several extraction methodologies have been reported to date, the development of novel, more powerful, and alternative extraction processes using hemp as the vegetable matrix is still a challenging field of research. In this manuscript the performance of the subcritical butane promoted extraction of a panel of 5 non psychoactive cannabinoids from hemp inflorescences from 2 hemp varieties, under a counter-current mode using a handmade extraction apparatus,was studied. All secondary metabolites under investigation have been finally quantified by gas chromatographic analyses coupled to mass spectrometry. Phyto canabinoids have been extracted in yields from 3.3-fold to 55-fold higher with respect to traditional methods that were adopted herein as a comparison. The use of subcritical butane as the extraction solvent for cannabinoids from hemp inflorescences is reported herein for the first time and could be easily adopted for other matrices (e.g. seeds) deriving from the same vegetable source.
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