The unambiguous identification of illicit substances, including Cannabis sativa, is a major concern of law enforcement agencies. Current methods of cannabis identification involve the use of techniques such as HPLC and GC to identify cannabinoids. A method for the identification of cannabis using DNA-specific primers has been developed and is described here. The nucleotide sequences between the trnL and trnF genes in the chloroplast of Cannabis sativa have been determined and Cannabis sativa-specific nucleotide sequences within the intergenic spacer between the trnL 3' exon and trnF gene identified. Primers, made to these sequences, have been tested on a range of different plant extracts but only give a PCR product in the presence of Cannabis sativa. The successful production of a PCR product using these primers identifies the presence of cannabis.
- Drug trafficking