NMS Labs Synthetic Cannabinoids ELISA FAQ

NMS Labs Synthetic Cannabinoids ELISA FAQ

What is ELISA?

ELISA is Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay, a standard screening test used in toxicology labs as a presumptive initial test. For forensic purposes it needs to be confirmed by a chromatography/mass spectrometry technique.

What is Fake Weed?

Fake Weed/Fake Pot/Synthetic Cannabinoids/K2/Spice, etc are all terms for laboratory-made chemicals that produce effects similar to marijuana. They act on the same pathways in the brain as regular marijuana. People use the drugs to get high, and know that to date it has been very difficult for lab test to detect their use.

I hear that NMS Labs has an ELISA for synthetic cannabinoids/fake weed. What can you tell me about it?

  • NMS Labs has developed the test for its own in-house use using our own proprietary antibodies.
  • The ELISA test is part of a bundled test that screens for JWH-018 and JWH-073 metabolites in urine, and them confirms positive screens by LCMSMS.
  • The test is available now.

What is the ACODE for the test?

9563U

Which drugs specifically does this test test for?

JWH-018 and JWH-073

What analytes are reported from the test?

The ELISA test screens for JWH-018 and 073 metabolites. It confirms:

  • JWH-018 N-(4-hydroxypentyl) metabolite
  • JWH-018 N-(5-hydroxypentyl) metabolite
  • JWH-073 N-(3-hydroxybutyl) metabolite
  • JWH-073 N-(4-hydroxybutyl) metabolite

What is the cut-off for the test?

The test has a screening cut-off of 5ng/mL.

How long will a person test positive for after using these drugs?

Based on a limited number of subjects who were followed from the time of smoking, depending on the dose they use subject will likely test positive for at least 48-72 hours.

Where can I buy the kits?

The kits are not commercially available. NMS Labs is offering this test exclusively to its customers.

Who else has this ELISA test?

To our knowledge nobody else has an ELISA test for these drugs.

Is the ELISA test available for blood?

No, it is currently validated only for urine. However, NMS Labs does offer an expanded list of testing in blood for 12 of the more popular compounds. The test code is 9560B.

Does the test cross react with real marijuana, THC or carboxy THC?

No. the test is specifically targeted to JWH-018 and JWH-073 metabolites.

Don’t these synthetic cannabinoids show up on a regular cannabinoids ELISA test anyway?

No. We have tested over thirty synthetic cannabinoid compounds and none of them cross reacts on the traditional marijuana/cannabis ELISA tests.

Are there special shipping instructions?

The analytes are stable for 30 days at room temperature, refrigerated or frozen.

Why is NMS Labs using ELISA?  “I thought LC/MS and GC/MS were Gold Standards.”

All ELISA positive results are confirmed by the LC-MS/MS method. The use of the ELISA technology allows us to process higher volumes of samples more rapidly and meet our turnaround commitments for this popular test.

Can I get this test added to my routine drug screen?

The test can be added on to any of our existing urine drug tests, as 9563U.

Can I get the old, cheaper test back?  I don’t need the additional compounds.

The new 9563U test has the same scope as the discontinued test 9561U (JWH-018 and JWH-073 only) and is priced the same. The 9562U is a more expensive test but is more comprehensive and includes compounds that are increasing in popularity (JWH-019, JWH-250, and AM-2201 in addition to JWH-018 and JWH-073). In some jurisdictions, these compounds are becoming popular.

Does the ELISA cross-react with other JWH-type drugs?

It does have some cross-reactivity with several other drugs in this class, but it is targeted to JWH-018 and JWH-073. If you are concerned about a subject’s use of other fake weed drugs, or you don’t know specifically what drugs they used, a broader spectrum LCMSMS test that will find three additional compounds JWH-019, JWH-250, and AM-2201 is recommended. Order test code 9562U or 4281U.

Can the test produce false positives?

No. Since the ELISA screen always reflexes to a confirmatory test by LCMSMS, the test is forensically reliable and will not produce analytical false positives.

My report says that the screen was positive but the LCMSMS confirmation was negative. Could there be other “Fake Pot” drugs in this sample?

Yes, there could. You should order a directed LCMSMS test for the expanded panel of synthetic cannabinoids in urine. The Acode is 4281U.

Will you continue to add additional compounds as they are “discovered”?

NMS Labs is currently working to identify other synthetic cannabinoid metabolites, and plans on expanding both the ELISA testing and LCMSMS confirmation once the research is complete.

Why does inconsistency exist between the compounds offered in NMS Labs urine, blood and identification tests? I’m confused…

Yes, this is a confusing area because the patterns of drug use are changing so fast. Right now our drug identification test will find all the synthetic cannabinoid compounds known to be on sale in the U.S. That’s a long list. For our blood tests, we have focused on the most commonly used drugs, so that is a shorter list of 12 compounds.

For urine, developing tests requires some fundamental research identifying compounds that have never been described or published before. This is a time consuming process, so it lags behind what we are able to do with blood.

Our goal is to continue to add analytes until the tests are better aligned, but since the supply and use keeps changing it’s a challenge.

What reference comments appear on the report?

JWH-018

JWH-018 N-(4-hydroxypentyl) metabolite
Synonym(s): JWH-018 omega minus one hydroxyl; (1-(4-hydroxypentyl)-1H-indol-3-yl(napthalen-1-yl)-methanone; Synthetic Cannabinoids; K2; Spice; Incense; Fake pot;

JWH-018, a synthetic cannabinoid, has been identified in products sold as 'herbal incense'. These products are sold under a wide variety of names including (but not limited to) K2 and Spice. These products may be used as an alternative to marijuana.

JWH-018 N-(4-hydroxypentyl) has been identified as a major metabolite of JWH-018 in humans.

JWH-018 N-(5-hydroxypentyl) metabolite
Synonym(s): JWH-018 omega hydroxyl; (1-(5-hydroxypentyl)-1H-indol-3-yl(napthalen-1-yl)-methanone; Synthetic Cannabinoids; K2; Spice; Incense; Fake pot

JWH-018, a synthetic cannabinoid, has been identified in products sold as 'herbal incense'. These products are sold under a wide variety of names including (but not limited to) K2 and Spice. These products may be used as an alternative to marijuana.

JWH-018 N-(5-hydroxypentyl) has been identified as a major metabolite of JWH-018 in humans.

JWH-073

JWH-073 N-(3-hydroxybutyl) metabolite
Synonym(s): Omega minus one-OH-JWH-073; (1-(3-hydroxybutyl)-1H-indol-3-yl(napthalen-1-yl)-methanone; Synthetic Cannabinoids; K2; Spice; Incense; Fake pot

JWH-073, a synthetic cannabinoid, has been identified in products sold as 'herbal incense'. These products are sold under a wide variety of names including (but not limited to) K2 and Spice. These products may be used as an alternative to marijuana.

JWH-073 N-(3-hydroxybutyl) has been identified as a major metabolite of JWH-073 in humans.

JWH-073 N-(4-hydroxybutyl) metabolite
Synonym(s): JWH-073 omega hydroxyl; (1-(4-hydroxybutyl)-1H-indol-3-yl(napthalen-1-yl)-methanone; Synthetic Cannabinoids; K2; Spice; Incense; Fake pot;

JWH-073, a synthetic cannabinoid, has been identified in products sold as 'herbal incense'. These products are sold under a wide variety of names including (but not limited to) K2 and Spice. These products may be used as an alternative to marijuana.

JWH-073 N-(4-hydroxybutyl) has been identified as a major metabolite of JWH-073 in humans.



NMS Labs is the only independent forensic facility in the nation to be certified by both the ABFT (American Board of Forensic Toxicology) and ASCLD/LAB-International (American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board) ISO 17025 in the disciplines of DNA & serology and controlled substances. We have held these certifications since 2005 and 2003 respectively.  We diligently maintain and exceed the high standards set by these organizations, so that you can have the utmost confidence in your testing results.