Identifying Active and Inactive Components of Marijuana

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Consumption of illicit drugs is widespread all over the world. The illicit drugs trade (also known as drug trafficking or the illegal drugs trade) is considered to be one of the largest global businesses, at $322 billion.

With a global GDP of US$36 trillion, the illicit drug trade may be assessed as the world's largest traded goods with a global GDP of US$36 trillion.

It attracts criminal organizations since the potential profits are considerably more than from other criminal commodities such as firearms, human trafficking and conflict diamonds. It is also a global issue because, in many instances, the single most profitable sector of the market is the process of transporting the drugs worldwide. The funds raised by trafficking groups can be employed for underwriting other criminal activities and also political insurgencies.

The main illicit drugs are the opiates (mostly heroin), cannabis, cocaine and ATS(amphetamine-type stimulants) such as ecstasy and methamphetamine.

The online page on homeland security solution provides additional details about how to put an end to drug trafficking.

Among those substances classified as ‘drugs of abuse’ is marijuana (cannabis). Marijuana refers to the dried flowers, leaves, seeds and stems from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The plant comprises of the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and various other related compounds. Extracts with increase amounts of THC can also be produced from the cannabis plant.

Commonly Used Illicit Drug

Marijuana is considered to be the most commonly used illicit drug in the whole world. Its use is widespread among young people. Based on a yearly survey of high and middle school students, rates of marijuana use have steadied over the past few years after several years of increase. However, the number of young people who believe that marijuana use is risky is decreasing.

Legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use or medical use in a growing number of states may affect these views. Additionally, use of marijuana is accepted in some areas, most notably the Netherlands, Canada, Uruguay and many states in the US are (considering) legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

However, there is still a huge market for this drug, and the illegal marijuana market value is a whopping $141.80 billion with as many as 164 million people using marijuana all over the world.

According to a report by the International Narcotics Control Board, more than 1,000 tons of marijuana is seized by United States Security Agents along the US / Mexico border per year.

More than 80 million people living in Europe are estimated to have used an illegal drug at some point in their lives.

In 2012, the most recent year measured, the report pointed out that 18.1 million used marijuana. A total of 2,000 tons of hashish and marijuana is consumed in the EU per year.

Testing of Marijuana Samples Using zNose®

The distinguishing features of multi-compound fragrances associated with material suspected of containing cannabis may be verified if it contains the physiologically active ingredients such as THC. A peak identification or pattern recognition algorithm incorporated with a fast SAW/GC allows suspect samples to be screened at a rapid rate.

Information about the physical composition of each sample may also be used for quantifying the possible origin and potency of the contraband material. zNose® is provided with a special user interface for unskilled users. The new user interface is capable of transforming the analytical chromatogram picture into a simple array of detection alarms.

zNose® has been field tested in applications involving drugs of abuse for the U.S. Customs and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), currency detection for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and explosives for the Federal Aviation Administration. These examples represent just a small fraction of law enforcement applications.


This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Electronic Sensor Technology.

For more information on this source, please visit Electronic Sensor Technology.

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