Agricultural growing of hemp products for the purposes of cannabidiol (CBD) extraction was legalized in the United States with the passing of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. Since the act passed, heightened concern over the use of pesticides in hemp production has been appreciated. However, no federal guidance is currently available in the United States to standardize analytical methods for the detection and quantification of pesticide residues in hemp products.
In this application note, a robust and efficient single-run LC/MS/MS method for the determination of 66 pesticides, including hydrophobic and chlorinated pesticides typically analyzed by GC/MS/MS, is presented. Utilizing a PerkinElmer QSight® 420 UHPLC with MS/MS detector and dual ESI and APCI sources, excellent recoveries in the range of 70-120% were achieved. The application note also outlines participation in an Emerald Scientific blind proficiency test, with acceptable results for all 66 pesticides.