Identification of Synthetic Cannabinoids in Herbal Incense Blends in the United States

Barry K. Logan, Ph.D.; Lindsay E. Reinhold, M.S.; Allan Xu, Ph.D.; and Francis X. Diamond, B.S.

The article Identification of Synthetic Cannabinoids in Herbal Incense Blends in the United States, written by NMS Labs scientists, appears in the Journal of Forensic Sciences (J Forensic Sci, 2012). Abstract is included below.

Please e-mail us if you would like a PDF copy of the published article.

ABSTRACT: Synthetic cannabinoid agonists are chemically diverse with multiple analogues gaining popularity as drugs of abuse. We report on the use of thin layer chromatography, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, high-performance liquid chromatography, and liquid chromatography time of flight mass spectrometry for the identification and quantitation of these pharmacologically active chemicals in street drug dosage forms. Using these approaches, we have identified the synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018, JWH-019, JWH-073, JWH-081, JWH-200, JWH-210, JWH-250, CP47,497 (C=8) (cannabicyclohexanol), RCS-4, RCS-8, AM-2201, and AM-694 in various commercially available products. Other noncannabinoid drugs including mitragynine have also been detected. Typical concentrations of drug in the materials are in the range 5–20 mg⁄ g, or 0.5–2% by weight for each compound, although many products contained more than one drug.

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