The aim of the present study was to investigate the stability of cannabinoids in cannabis resin slabs and cannabis extracts upon long-term storage. The levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) on both neutral and acidic form were measured at room temperature, 4 °C and - 20 °C for up to 4 years. Acidic THC degrades exponentially via decarboxylation with concentration halve-lives of approximately 330 and 462 days in daylight and darkness, respectively. The degradation of neutral THC seems to occur somewhat slower. When cannabinoids were stored in extracted form at room temperature the degradation rate of acidic THC increased significantly relative to resin material with concentration halve-lives of 35 and 91 days in daylight and darkness, respectively. Once cannabis material is extracted into organic solvents, care should be taken to avoid the influence of sunlight.
Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2010, Vol 42, Issue 3, p. 181-190