Plenary 6: Diversity in applications

Thursday November 10, 2022 from 10:30 to 12:00

Room: Lunar & Moon

P6.5 Irradiation of medicinal hemp

Suwimol Jetawattana, Thailand

Head of Academic Services Section
Academic Services Section, R&D Department
Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology


Effects of x-ray and electron beam irradiation on microbial quality of medicinal hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) inflorescences

Peerasak Chaiprasart1, Phongrapi Wichitkunanan1, Hannarong Shamsub2, Suwimol Jetawattana2.

1Faculty of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand; 2Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (Public Organization), Nakhon Nayok, Thailand

Thailand is now one of the cannabis-friendliest countries in Asia as a result of the approval of new legislation. Since 2018, it is permitted to use cannabis for medical purposes. When the Thai Food and Drug Administration removed cannabis from the "Category 5" narcotics list in 2022, it became completely legal in Thailand. Herbal cannabis products, however, are subject to stringent safety regulations addressing microbiological contamination. This investigation examines whether radiation exposure affects the physical characteristics, microbial contamination, and bioactive component composition of hemp inflorescences. We have proposed the possibility that the irradiation of hemp could alter its typical inflorescences. The dosages employed to treat the hemp inflorescences ranged from 4 to 25 kGy for x-ray and electron beam irradiations. Three cultivars of hemp were used in this investigation: EHFGP#1, FGP-FO#3, and EHFGP#6. We found that ionizing radiation treatments had no effect on the color or moisture of the hemp inflorescence. The amount of microbial contamination reduction depends on the radiation doses applied to hemp inflorescences. In addition, the levels of microbial contamination can be efficiently reduced by a higher dose of up to 8 kGy. The bioactive compounds, cannabinoids (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), both before and after irradiation, will be discussed in more detail.
In conclusion, ionizing radiation played a significant role in the reduction of microbial contamination in medicinal hemp inflorescences without creating undesirable physical characteristics. The favorable characteristics of irradiated hemp can considerably increase consumer confidence. The results also show that irradiation of herbal cannabis continues to be the suggested decontamination technique.

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