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South African Journal of Chemistry

On-line version ISSN 1996-840X
Print version ISSN 0379-4350

Abstract

PON, Dale  and  FENYVESI, Ildiko J.. A Validated Method for the Detection and Quantitation of Synthetic Cannabinoids in Whole Blood and Urine, and its Application to Postmortem Cases in Johannesburg, South Africa. S.Afr.j.chem. (Online) [online]. 2018, vol.71, pp.24-29. ISSN 1996-840X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/0379-4350/2018/v71a3.

A LC-HRMS (liquid chromatography coupled with high resolution mass spectrometry) method for the detection and quantitation of several synthetic cannabinoids (JWH-018, JWH-019, JWH-073, JWH-081, JWH-122 JWH-200, JWH-250, AM-2201, (±)-CP 47,497, (C8)-CP 47,497, HU-211) and selected metabolites (JWH-018 N-(4-hydroxypentyl) and JWH-073 N-(3-hydroxybutyl)) in whole blood and urine was developed and validated. These methods were applied to postmortem cases from the Johannesburg Forensic Pathology Services Medicolegal Laboratory (FPS-MLL) to assess the prevalence of these synthetic cannabinoids amongst the local postmortem population. Urine samples were extracted utilizing a solid phase extraction (SPE) method, while blood samples were extracted utilizing liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) method. The accuracy of the analytes ranged from 88-107 % in whole blood (relative standard deviation (RSD) = 7.5-15.0 %), and from 95-109 % in urine (RSD = 4.9-11.9 %). The limits of detection (LOD) and the limits of quantitation (LOQ) for the analytes ranged between 0.675 ng mL-1 and 3.375 ng mL-1 in whole blood, and between 0.225 ng mL-1 to 3.375 ng mL-1 in urine. None of the postmortem cases tested positive for any of the targeted analytes. The sample population could be extended to living subjects such as those in drug rehabilitation centres or in hospitals to obtain a more accurate representation of the overall usage in South Africa.

Keywords : Toxicology; LC-HRMS; synthetic cannabinoids; whole blood; urine.

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