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Extraction of policosanols from industrial hemp and relative blend

canapaextractionhempLong chain alcoholspolicosanols


Policosanols are long chain aliphatic alcohols, with carbon chains typically in the range 20–36, with interesting biological activities. The attention on these phytochemicals is due to interesting health-promoting bioactivities, which include anti- cholesterolemic activities, Other bioactivities reported for policosanols include potential benefits in treating obesity and diabetes, hypolipidemic activity and an antioxidative activity. The invention patent describes the extraction and characterization of wax policosanols from hemp inflorescence. The compounds can be obtained as a by-product of cannabidiol extraction and were prepared by extraction of the free policosanol fraction and hydrolysis of the esterified policosanols in wax.

Technical features

The present invention allows the extraction of policosanols from industrial hemp, in particular from waste from the extraction of cannabidiol. Hemp contains policosanols, with C20-C36 chains, mainly in fatty acid esterified form. It describes a process of preparation of policosanols from industrial hemp, which uses an extraction and a saponification phase, to obtain free policosanols in a complex mixture with other natural compounds present in hemp. This mixture can be further purified to obtain high-purity policosanols. Given the growing demand and consequently production of cannabidiol, this results in a large processing waste, as well as a high cost for its disposal. From the perspective of the principles of the circular economy, the revaluation of industrial waste is today a highly topical issue. At present, the waxes deriving from the production of cannabidiol are disposed of or used for the production of candles. Therefore, the enhancement of products with higher added value has considerable prospects in the field of cosmeceuticals, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. TRL3: experimental proof of concept.


Possible Applications

  • Pharmaceutical field, for the cholesterol-lowering properties of policosanols;
  • Nutraceutical field, for the cholesterol-lowering properties of policosanols;
  • Cosmetics field (octacosanol (C28), used to give structure to the non-polar components of some products, such as lipsticks).


  • Recovery of nutraceutical compounds;
  • Economical;
  • Environmental impact.