Portable biosensors for rapid on-site determination of cannabinoids in cannabis, a review

Dorin Harpaz, Nirit Bernstein, Dvora Namdar, Evgeni Eltzov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recent studies highlight the therapeutic virtues of cannabidiol (CBD). Furthermore, due to their molecular enriched profiles, cannabis inflorescences are biologically superior to a single cannabinoid for the treatment of various health conditions. Thus, there is flourishing demand for Cannabis sativa varieties containing high levels of CBD. Additionally, legal regulations around the world restrict the cultivation and consumption of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-rich cannabis plants for their psychotropic effects. Therefore, the use of cannabis varieties that are high in CBD is permitted as long as their THC content does not exceed a low threshold of 0.3%–0.5%, depending on the jurisdiction. These chemovars are legally termed ‘hemp’. This controlled cannabinoid requirement highlights the need to detect low levels of THC, already in the field. In this review, cannabis profiling and the existing methods used for the detection of cannabinoids are firstly evaluated. Then, selected valuable biosensor technologies are discussed, which suggest portable, rapid, sensitive, reproducible, and reliable methods for on-site identification of cannabinoids levels, mainly THC. Recent cutting-edge techniques of promising potential usage for both cannabis and hemp analysis are identified, as part of the future cultivation and agricultural improvement of this crop.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108031
JournalBiotechnology Advances
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabis and hemp
  • Chemotypes and chromatographic methods
  • Portable on-site biosensors
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Portable biosensors for rapid on-site determination of cannabinoids in cannabis, a review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this