Screening for the synthetic cannabinoid JWH-018 and its major metabolites in human doping controls.
ABSTRACT Referred to as 'spice', several new drugs, advertised as herbal blends, have appeared on the market in the last few years, in which the synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018 and a C(8) homologue of CP 47,497 were identified as major active ingredients. Due to their reported cannabis-like effects, many European countries have banned these substances. The World Anti-Doping Agency has also explicitly prohibited synthetic cannabinoids in elite sport in-competition. Since urine specimens have been the preferred doping control samples, the elucidation of the metabolic pathways of these substances is of particular importance to implement them in sports drug testing programmes. In a recent report, an in vitro phase-I metabolism study of JWH-018 was presented yielding mainly hydroxylated and N-dealkylated metabolites. Due to these findings, a urine sample of a healthy man declaring to have smoked a 'spice' product was screened for potential phase-I and -II metabolites by high-resolution/high-accuracy mass spectrometry in the present report. The majority of the phase-I metabolites observed in earlier in vitro studies of JWH-018 were detected in this urine specimen and furthermore most of their respective monoglucuronides. As no intact JWH-018 was detectable, the monohydroxylated metabolite being the most abundant one was chosen as a target analyte for sports drug testing purposes; a detection method was subsequently developed and validated in accordance to conventional screening protocols based on enzymatic hydrolysis, liquid-liquid extraction, and liquid chromatography/electrospray tandem mass spectrometry analysis. The method was applied to approximately 7500 urine doping control samples yielding two JWH-018 findings and demonstrated its capability for a sensitive and selective identification of JWH-018 and its metabolites in human urine.
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ABSTRACT: Since the federal authorities scheduled the first synthetic cannabinoids, JWH-018 and JWH-073, new synthetic cannabinoids were robustly marketed. N-(1-Adamantyl)-1-pentylindazole-3-carboxamide (AKB-48), also known as APINACA, was recently observed in Japanese herbal smoking blends. The National Forensic Laboratory Information System registered 443 reports of AKB-48 cases in the USA from March 2010 to January 2013. In May 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administration listed AKB-48 as a Schedule I drug. Recently, AKB-48 was shown to have twice the CB1 receptor binding affinity than CB2. These pharmacological effects and the difficulty in detecting the parent compound in urine highlight the importance of metabolite identification for developing analytical methods for clinical and forensic investigations. Using human hepatocytes and TripleTOF mass spectrometry, we identified 17 novel phase I and II AKB-48 metabolites, products of monohydroxylation, dihydroxylation, or trihydroxylation on the aliphatic adamantane ring or N-pentyl side chain. Glucuronide conjugation of some mono- and dihydroxylated metabolites also occurred. Oxidation and dihydroxylation on the adamantane ring and N-pentyl side chain formed a ketone. More metabolites were identified after 3 h of incubation than at 1 h. For the first time, we present a AKB-48 metabolic scheme obtained from human hepatocytes and high-resolution mass spectrometry. These data are needed to develop analytical methods to identify AKB-48 consumption in clinical and forensic testing.The AAPS Journal 08/2013; · 4.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In recent years, the analysis of synthetic cannabinoids in human specimens has gained enormous importance in the broad field of drug testing. Nevertheless, the considerable structural diversity among synthetic cannabinoids already identified in 'herbal mixtures' hampers the development of comprehensive analytical methods. As the identification of the main metabolites of newly appearing substances is very laborious and time-consuming, the detection of the parent compounds in blood samples is the current approach of choice for drug abstinence testing. Whenever blood sampling is not possible however, the need for alternative matrices arises. In this article, we present a fully validated liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS) method for the analysis of 30 synthetic cannabinoids in oral fluid samples collected with the Dräger DCD 5000 collection device. The method proved to be suitable for the quantification of 28 substances. The limits of detection were in the range from 0.015 to 0.9 ng/ml, while the lower limits of quantification ranged from 0.15 to 3.0 ng/ml. The method was successfully applied to 264 authentic samples during routine analysis. A total of 31 samples (12%) was tested positive for at least one of the following synthetic cannabinoids: AM-694, AM-2201, JWH-018, JWH-019, JWH-081, JWH-122, JWH-203, JWH-210, JWH-250, JWH-307, MAM-2201, and RCS-4. Given that stabilization of the collection pads after sampling is warranted, the collection device provides satisfactory sensitivity. Hence, whenever blood sampling is not possible, the Dräger DCD 5000 collection device offers a good tool for the analysis of synthetic cannabinoids in oral fluid in the broad field of drug testing. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Drug Testing and Analysis 10/2012; · 3.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although synthetic cannabinoids have been intensively investigated in recent years and oral fluid testing is becoming increasingly popular in suspected driving under the influence of drugs cases, only scarce data on their stability in authentic neat oral fluid (nOF) samples are yet available. However, especially for these new psychoactive drugs, investigations focusing on stability issues are necessary as inappropriate storage conditions may lead to considerable analytical problems. Since it has been shown for Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol that adsorption to plastic surfaces may lead to considerable drug loss, we aimed to evaluate whether adsorption also has to be taken into account for synthetic cannabinoids in nOF samples. In this paper, the results of investigations on the recovery of 11 prevalent synthetic cannabinoids from authentic nOF samples stored over 72 h in RapidEASE (high quality borosilicate glass) and Sciteck Saliva Split Collector (polypropylene) tubes at 4 and 25 °C are presented. Our findings clearly demonstrate that lipophilic synthetic cannabinoids present in nOF samples adsorb to the surface of polypropylene containers when stored at room temperature, leading to considerable drug loss. Hence, when using polypropylene tubes, samples should be shipped cooled in order to avoid a substantial decrease of the analyte concentration during transportation. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Drug Testing and Analysis 05/2013; · 3.17 Impact Factor