Mosquitocidal and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of The Essential Oils Obtained from Monoecious, Male, and Female Inflorescences of Hemp ( Cannabis sativa L.) and Their Encapsulation in Nanoemulsions

Paolo Rossi, Alessia Cappelli, Oliviero Marinelli, Matteo Valzano, Lucia Pavoni, Giulia Bonacucina, Riccardo Petrelli, Pierluigi Pompei, Eugenia Mazzara, Irene Ricci, Filippo Maggi, Massimo Nabissi
Molecules: a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry 2020 July 29, 25 (15)
Among the various innovative products obtainable from hemp ( Cannabis sativa L.) waste biomass originating from different industrial processes, the essential oil (EO) deserves special attention in order to understand its possible application in different fields, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and botanical insecticides. For the purpose, in the present work, we studied the chemical composition of EOs obtained from different hemp varieties, namely Felina 32 and Carmagnola Selezionata (CS) using monoecious, male, and female inflorescences, and we evaluated their mosquitocidal activities on larvae and pupae of two main malaria vectors, Anopheles gambiae and An. stephensi . Then, in order to evaluate the safe use of hemp EOs for operators, the potential pro- or anti-inflammatory effect of hemp EOs together with their toxicological profile were determined on dermal fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Given the promising results obtained by insecticidal and anti-inflammatory studies, a preliminary evaluation of EOs encapsulation into nanoemulsions (NEs) has been performed with the aim to develop a formulation able to improve their poor physicochemical stability. Felina 32 and CS inflorescences provided EOs with an interesting chemical profile, with monoterpene and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons as the major components. This study highlighted the potential application of male inflorescences, which are usually discharged during hemp product processing. These EOs could be exploited as potential sustainable and eco-friendly insecticides, given their capability to be toxic against mosquitoes and the possibility to use them to prepare stable and safe formulations. The LC50 values found in this study (<80 ppm) are lower, on average, than those of many plant EOs, with the advantage of using an industrial waste product. From MTT assay and gene and protein expression analysis, EOs showed no cytotoxicity at the appropriate doses and exerted an anti-inflammatory effect on the human cell lines tested. These findings encourage further applied research on hemp EOs in order support their industrial exploitation.

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