ABSTRAX Pins the Exact Origin of Cannabis’ Distinctive Skunk-Like Aroma in Scientific Peer-Reviewed Study
November 17th, 2021
The Discovery of a new family of volatile sulfur compounds unlocks
a whole new avenue of cannabis research
TUSTIN – November 17, 2021 – ABSTRAX, an industry leader in the study and production of cannabis and botanically-derived terpenes, has officially pinpointed the chemical origins of the “skunky, gasoline” scent and flavors responsible for specific cannabis cultivars and published their results in a peer-reviewed study in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Omega. This is the first time in history this feat has been accomplished, providing the opportunity for researchers to investigate the properties of these new compounds.
For years, the cannabis science community has been befuddled by what compounds generated this scent. Although terpenes have traditionally been associated with the scent of cannabis, there is no combination of these compounds that can generate the unique and characteristic skunk-like aroma of cannabis. Now, a team led by T.J. Martin of ABSTRAX has uncovered an entirely new family of compounds responsible for this scent.1 Using 2-Dimensional gas chromatography (2DGC) coupled with mass spectrometry, flame ionization detection, and sulfur chemiluminescence, they discovered key volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) – organic compounds containing sulfur – that directly correlate to the pungent aroma of cannabis. This new family of compounds includes thiols, sulfides, and even disulfides. Each were found to contribute to the characteristic skunk-like aroma, and when coupled with the other aroma compounds such as terpenes, combine to generate the unmistakable and potent scent of cannabis.
“The combination of multiple detectors, in tandem with 2DGC to analyze cannabis, gave us the tools needed to parse through data and identify trends between certain compounds and the aromas of various cannabis cultivars,” said Dr. Iain Oswald, the lead author of the study. “Our data conclusively establishes a link between this new family of VSCs in cannabis and its pungent aroma.”
Gas chromatography is typically used when analyzing the volatile species of various samples – whether flowers, food, or even beverages. However, cannabis presents a uniquely complex case due to the wide variety and number of aroma compounds present. Two-Dimensional gas chromatography alleviates this issue by allowing for greater separation of compounds in the data, allowing for easier identification of the chemical species. Furthermore, the use of sulfur chemiluminescence – a method of detecting only compounds with sulfur atoms within their structure – provides an easy way to identify these compounds in the data. This is especially helpful in situations where compounds are in exceedingly low concentrations, including those discovered in this study.
“Much like Cannflavins are prenylated flavonoids found specifically in cannabis, some of these newly discovered ‘cannasulfur compounds’ also appear to be highly specific prenylated VSCs to cannabis”, said Oswald. “It is interesting to see a common chemical theme within entirely different classes of compounds produced by this plant.”
The study results provide a starting point for further research to be conducted that will be multidisciplinary in nature. For instance, the realization that certain cultivars may produce these compounds, while others do not, provides an opportunity to determine if this is due to genetic differences or otherwise. For instance, Bacio Gelato, which is a cultivar first bred by co-author Mario Guzman and has the highest concentration of VSCs measured in cannabis, may have genetic differences from the cultivar Black Jack, which had no measurable VSCs.
“This study really opened my eyes,” said Guzman. “It confirmed everything I had thought about some cultivars I have bred — that they are some of the most pungent and medicinal on the market. These compounds are the reason Gelato and subsequent crosses are some of the most highly sought after out there.”
Likewise, fellow co-author Josh Del Rosso, the originator of OG Kush, was equally excited about the new discoveries. “I have suspected for years now that we were missing something in our understanding of this plant,” said Del Rosso. “Although terpenes have been hailed as the major source of the pungent scent of cannabis, we now know that it is this new class of VSCs.”
Del Rosso noted that perhaps the most exciting result from the study was the correlation between the chemical structure of VSCs found in garlic and cannabis. The prenyl functional group that is found in each VSC measured is chemically similar to the allyl group found in garlic with a few modifications. These VSCs in garlic offer some of its strongest health benefits and suggest that the VSCs in cannabis may likewise possess similar activity.
“I hope our results can act as a springboard to help other researchers determine if these compounds endow cannabis with even more medicinal properties than we ever imagined”, said Del Rosso.
Another result from the study was that these compounds can translate from the flower state to extracts such as butane hash oil (BHO), a popular cannabis concentrate found in vapes.
“We confirmed that cannabis extracts can indeed contain these compounds in reasonable concentration if processed correctly,” said Kevin Koby, CSO of ABSTRAX. “Their high volatility makes them prone to volatilization, so we weren’t sure how they would translate into cannabis extracts. We were pleasantly surprised to see high levels in the sample we measured, especially if these compounds possess beneficial medicinal properties.”
Lastly, the study measured VSCs as a function of plant growth. The researchers found that the concentrations of these compounds increase substantially at the end of the plant’s growth and reach a maximum immediately after the curing process. Surprisingly, the concentrations of most VSCs dropped substantially after even just a week of storage.
“These results prove that cannabis producers are racing against time when it comes to getting quality products into customers’ hands,” said Koby. “Hopefully our results will establish a new standard for cultivators and distributors to help preserve and protect these key compounds — regardless of the rigors of processing, packaging, and time on shelf. Most importantly, it will help brands maximize their products and literally push cannabis quality to the next level.”
 Oswald, I. W. H.; Ojeda, M. A.; Pobanz, R. J.; Koby, K. A.; Buchanan, A. J.; Del Rosso, J.; Guzman, M. A.; Martin, T. J. Identification of New Family of Prenylated Volatile Sulfur Compounds in Cannabis Revealed by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography. ACS Omega. 2021, Article ASAP. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/
Leveraging its proven background in cannabis research, ABSTRAX is the leader in the research, development, and production of botanically-derived and cannabis-inspired terpenes that create unforgettable sensorial experiences. Headquartered in California, the company owns and operates a state-of-the-art type 7 licensed research and manufacturing lab where it’s award-winning product developers and scientists leverage the most advanced strain analysis technology to extract and study aroma compounds via three-dimensional analysis, allowing for each and every compound within a plant to be named and studied. The company has partnered with many of the best cultivators in the industry to study their cannabis profiles and create the world’s most advanced terpene formulations. As a result of its efforts, ABSTRAX offers the largest terpene catalogue of the most popular strains – botanically-derived terpene blends and isolates native to cannabis. These ingredients, also known as functional flavors and aromas, are used in vapes, concentrates, edibles, beer, essential oils, fragrances, cosmetics, topicals, tinctures, alcohol, food and beverage, personal care, and more. The company works with internationally recognized brands and provides unparalleled cannabis research, innovation, and custom formulations to create products that engage and thrill consumers. ABSTRAX also devotes significant resources to developing the highest terpene standards and best practices in the industry. The company has developed a robust quality management system including Gas Chromatography analysis and molecular distillation of natural ingredients to achieve the highest purity standards. Investigating and ensuring that ingredients used in its own products, and products within its industry, are safe for consumption. The terpene industry is a rapidly growing segment of the global flavor and fragrance market, which is expected to grow to $35 billion by 2024. This market segment includes the cannabis, CBD, skincare, cosmetics, health and wellness, food and beverage industries. For more information, visit AbstraxTech.com.
Stacey Kaszton Jones
La Voz Marketing
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
Follow Us on Social Media
About CFN Media Group
CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN) owns and operates CFN Media Group, the premier agency and financial media network reaching executives, entrepreneurs and consumers worldwide. Through its proprietary content creation, video library, and distribution via www.CannabisFN.com, CFN has built an extensive database of cannabis interest, assisting many of the world’s largest cannabis firms and CBD brands to build awareness and thrive. For more information, please visit www.cfnenterprisesinc.com.
Disclaimer: Matters discussed on this website contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority and does not provide nor claims to provide investment advice or recommendations to readers of this release. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, may from time-to-time have a position in the securities mentioned herein and will increase or decrease such positions without notice. The Information contains forward-looking statements, i.e. statements or discussions that constitute predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, estimates, or projections as indicated by such words as "expects", "will", "anticipates", and "estimates"; therefore, you should proceed with extreme caution in relying upon such statements and conduct a full investigation of the Information and the Profiled Issuer as well as any such forward-looking statements. Any forward looking statements we make in the Information are limited to the time period in which they are made, and we do not undertake to update forward looking statements that may change at any time; The Information is presented only as a brief "snapshot" of the Profiled Issuer and should only be used, at most, and if at all, as a starting point for you to conduct a thorough investigation of the Profiled Issuer and its securities and to consult your financial, legal or other adviser(s) and avail yourself of the filings and information that may be accessed at www.sec.gov, www.pinksheets.com, www.otcmarkets.com or other electronic sources, including: (a) reviewing SEC periodic reports (Forms 10-Q and 10-K), reports of material events (Form 8-K), insider reports (Forms 3, 4, 5 and Schedule 13D); (b) reviewing Information and Disclosure Statements and unaudited financial reports filed with the Pink Sheets or www.otcmarkets.com; (c) obtaining and reviewing publicly available information contained in commonlyknown search engines such as Google; and (d) consulting investment guides at www.sec.gov and www.finra.com. You should always be cognizant that the Profiled Issuers may not be current in their reporting obligations with the SEC and OTCMarkets and/or have negative signs at www.otcmarkets.com (See section below titled "Risks Related to the Profiled Issuers, which provides additional information pertaining thereto). For making specific investment decisions, readers should seek their own advice and that of their own professional advisers. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, may be compensated for its Services in the form of cash-based and/or equity-based compensation in the companies it writes about, or a combination of the two. For full disclosure, please visit: https://www.cannabisfn.com/legal-disclaimer/. A short time after we acquire the securities of the foregoing company, we may publish the (favorable) information about the issuer referenced above advising others, including you, to purchase; and while doing so, we may sell the securities we acquired. In addition, a third-party shareholder compensating us may sell his or her shares of the issuer while we are publishing favorable information about the issuer. Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed in this article contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority, and does not provide nor claims to provide investment advice or recommendations to readers of this release. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, may from time to time have a position in the securities mentioned herein and will increase or decrease such positions without notice. For making specific investment decisions, readers should seek their own advice and that of their own professional advisers. CFN Media Group, which owns CannabisFN, may be compensated for its Services in the form of cash-based and/or equity- based compensation in the companies it writes about, or a combination of the two. For full disclosure please visit: https://www.cannabisfn.com/legal-disclaimer/.