Analytical approaches for the determination of phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids in human matrices

Natalia Battista, Manuel Sergi, Camilla Montesano, Sabino Napoletano, Dario Compagnone, Mauro Maccarrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Over the last two decades, the role played by phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids in medicine has gained increasing interest in the scientific community. Upon identification of the plant compound Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and of the endogenous substance anandamide (AEA), different methodological approaches and innovative techniques have been developed, in order to evaluate the content of these molecules in various human matrices. In this review, we discuss the analytical methods that are currently used for the identification of phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids, and we summarize the benefits and limitations of these procedures. Moreover, we provide an overview of the main biological matrices that have been analyzed to date for qualitative detection and quantitative determination of these compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-16
Number of pages10
JournalDrug Testing and Analysis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014



  • Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol
  • Anandamide
  • Liquid chromatography
  • Mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Spectroscopy

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