Rapid and sensitive screening and confirmation of thirty-four aminocarbonyl/carboxamide (NACA) and arylindole synthetic cannabinoid drugs in human whole blood

Marykathryn Tynona, Joseph Homana, Sherri Kacinkoa, Annette Ervina, Matthew McMullinaand Barry K. Logana,b

NMS Labs, Willow Grove, PA, USA
b The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education, The Fredric RiedersFamily Renaissance Foundation, Willow Grove, PA, USA >

The article Rapid and sensitive screening and confirmation of thirty-four aminocarbonyl/carboxamide (NACA) and arylindole synthetic cannabinoid drugs in human whole blood appears in Drug Testing and Analysis, 2016; DOI 10.1002/dta.2096. Abstract is included below.

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ABSTRACT: We describe the development and validation of a method for the screening and confirmation of a range of chemically diverse synthetic cannabinoid drugs in human whole blood. The method targets the better known arylindole compounds as well as the emerging aminocarbonyl/ carboxamide (NACA) compounds. The approach consists of two separate extraction procedures designed to optimize recovery of each of these two classes, followed by analysis by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The most significant novel compounds added were AB-FUBINACA, ADBICA, 5 F-ADBICA, ADBPINACA, ADB-FUBINACA, ADB-FUBINACA, 5 F-ADB-PINACA, 5 F-ADB-PINACA, AB-PINACA, AB-CHMINACA, and ADB-CHMINACA. A third procedure is described for the quantitative confirmation of those compounds for which deuterated internal standards permitted quantitative analysis, including JWH-018, JWH-122, JWH-081, JWH-210, AM-2201, XLR-11, and UR-144. The methods were successfully validated according to Scientific Working Group in Forensic Toxicology (SWGTOX) protocol for 34 compounds in common use in the United States in the period of 2014 and 2015, although other substances, unknown at the time may have been introduced to the market over the same time period. The method was determined to be free from carry-over between samples, and no interference was found from other common therapeutic abused or novel psychoactive drugs. The methods were applied to the analysis of 1142 blood samples from forensic investigations, including postmortem examinations and driving impairment cases. The drugs most frequently detected were AB-CHMINACA (18.6%), ADB-CHMINACA (15%), XLR-11 (5.5%), ABFUBINACA (4.5%), AB-PINACA (3.9%), and ADB-FUBINACA (2.3%).

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