“Skunky” Cannabis: Environmental Odor Troubleshooting and the “Need-for-Speed”

Date
2022-05-12
Authors
Koziel, Jacek
Guenther, Alex
Vizuete, William
Wright, Donald W.
Iwasinska, Anna
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American Chemical Society
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Agricultural and Biosystems EngineeringCivil, Construction and Environmental EngineeringFood Science and Human Nutrition
Abstract
Although the “skunky” odor characteristic of cannabis has been widely referenced, its cause has been historically misassigned to unspecified “skunky terpenes”. Recent reports from two independent research groups, the Koziel team (March and April 2021) and Oswald team (August and November 2021), have corrected this misassignment by linking the “skunky” character of industrial hemp and cannabis to 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol (321MBT). A recent USPTO patent application review clearly indicated that the Oswald team should take full credit for the discovery of this link with respect to cannabis. However, the August 19, 2021 publication of their patent application appears to be their formal public disclosure of 321MBT as the primary source odorant which is responsible for the targeted “skunky” odor. This date is well after the March and April 2021 public disclosures by the Koziel team for the 321MBT/“skunky” odor link relative to both cannabis and industrial hemp. This Viewpoint summarizes the investigative strategy leading to the public disclosure of this historically elusive link. It is presented from the perspective of the rapid multidimensional–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry–olfactometry (i.e., MDGC-MS-O) based odorant-prioritization “screening” approach, as applied by the Koziel team.
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This article is published as Koziel, Jacek A., Alex Guenther, William Vizuete, Donald W. Wright, and Anna Iwasinska. “Skunky” Cannabis: Environmental Odor Troubleshooting and the “Need-for-Speed” ACS Omega (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.2c00517. Copyright 2022 The Authors. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Posted with permission.
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