Richard A Gustafson

National Institute on Drug Abuse, Maryland, United States

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Publications (9)20.42 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Sweat testing is a noninvasive technique for monitoring drug exposure over a 7-day period in treatment, criminal justice, and employment settings. We evaluated Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) excretion in 11 daily cannabis users after cessation of drug use. PharmChek sweat patches worn for 7 days were analyzed for THC by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The limit of quantification (LOQ) for the method was 0.4 ng THC/patch. Sweat patches worn the first week of continuously monitored abstinence had THC above the United States Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration's proposed cutoff concentration for federal workplace testing of 1 ng THC/patch. Mean+/-S.E.M. THC concentrations were 3.85+/-0.86 ng THC/patch. Eight of 11 subjects had negative patches the second week and one produced THC positive patches for 4 weeks of monitored abstinence. We also tested daily and weekly sweat patches from seven subjects who were administered oral doses of up to 14.8 mg THC/day for five consecutive days. In this oral THC administration study, no daily or weekly patches had THC above the LOQ; concurrent plasma THC concentrations were all less than 6.1 microg/L. In conclusion, using proposed federal cutoff concentrations, most daily cannabis users will have a positive sweat patch in the first week after ceasing drug use and a negative patch after subsequent weeks, although patches may remain positive for 4 weeks or more. Oral ingestion of up to 14.8 mg THC daily does not produce a THC positive sweat patch test.
    Forensic science international 02/2008; 174(2-3):173-7. · 2.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fifty-three head hair specimens were collected from 38 males with a history of cannabis use documented by questionnaire, urinalysis and controlled, double blind administration of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in an institutional review board approved protocol. The subjects completed a questionnaire indicating daily cannabis use (N=18) or non-daily use, i.e. one to five cannabis cigarettes per week (N=20). Drug use was also documented by a positive cannabinoid urinalysis, a hair specimen was collected from each subject and they were admitted to a closed research unit. Additional hair specimens were collected following smoking of two 2.7% THC cigarettes (N=13) or multiple oral doses totaling 116 mg THC (N=2). Cannabinoid concentrations in all hair specimens were determined by ELISA and GCMSMS. Pre- and post-dose detection rates did not differ statistically, therefore, all 53 specimens were considered as one group for further comparisons. Nineteen specimens (36%) had no detectable THC or 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THCCOOH) at the GCMSMS limits of quantification (LOQ) of 1.0 and 0.1 pg/mg hair, respectively. Two specimens (3.8%) had measurable THC only, 14 (26%) THCCOOH only, and 18 (34%) both cannabinoids. Detection rates were significantly different (p<0.05, Fishers' exact test) between daily cannabis users (85%) and non-daily users (52%). There was no difference in detection rates between African-American and Caucasian subjects (p>0.3, Fisher's exact test). For specimens with detectable cannabinoids, concentrations ranged from 3.4 to >100 pg THC/mg and 0.10 to 7.3 pg THCCOOH/mg hair. THC and THCCOOH concentrations were positively correlated (r=0.38, p<0.01, Pearson's product moment correlation). Using an immunoassay cutoff concentration of 5 pg THC equiv./mg hair, 83% of specimens that screened positive were confirmed by GCMSMS at a cutoff concentration of 0.1 pg THCCOOH/mg hair.
    Forensic science international 07/2007; 169(2-3):129-36. · 2.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A clinical study to investigate the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of oral tetrahydrocannabinol was performed. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject, inpatient study compared the effects of THC-containing hemp oils in liquid and capsule form to dronabinol (synthetic THC) in doses used for appetite stimulation. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Institutional Review Board approved the protocol and each participant provided informed consent. Detection times and concentrations of THC, 11-hydroxy-Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC), and 11-nor-9-carboxy-Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCCOOH) in plasma were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry [limits of quantification (LOQ)=0.5, 0.5, and 1.0 ng/mL, respectively] after oral THC administration. Six volunteers ingested liquid hemp oil (0.39 and 14.8 mg THC/d), hemp oil in capsules (0.47 mg THC/d), dronabinol capsules (7.5 mg THC/d), and placebo. Plasma specimens were collected during and after each dosing condition. THC and 11-OH-THC concentrations were low and never exceeded 6.1 ng/mL. Analytes were detectable 1.5 hour after initiating dosing with the 7.5 mg THC/d regimen and 4.5 hour after starting the 14.8 mg THC/d sessions. THCCOOH was detected 1.5 hour after the first dose, except for the 0.47 mg THC/d session, which required 4.5 hour for concentrations to reach the LOQ. THCCOOH concentrations peaked at 3.1 ng/mL during dosing with the low-dose hemp oils. Plasma THC and 11-OH-THC concentrations were negative for all participants at all doses within 15.5 hours after the last THC dose. Plasma THCCOOH persisted for at least 39.5 hours after the end of dosing and at much higher concentrations (up to 43.0 ng/mL). This study demonstrated that subjects who used high THC content hemp oil (347 mug/mL) as a dietary supplement had THC and metabolites in plasma in quantities comparable to those of patients using dronabinol for appetite stimulation. There was a significant correlation between body mass index and Cmax and body mass index and number of specimens positive for THC and 11-OH-THC.
    Therapeutic Drug Monitoring 09/2006; 28(4):545-51. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Estimating the time of last cannabis use is important in assessing possible impairment of drivers involved in accidents, in verifying accuracy of court testimony and in the future, helpful in therapeutic monitoring of cannabis agonists. In 1992, Huestis et al developed model 1, based on plasma Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations, and model 2, on plasma 11-nor-9-carboxy-Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannbinol/THC ratios, that predicted 95% confidence intervals for time of last cannabis use. These models seemed to be valuable when applied to the small amount of data from published studies of oral ingestion, a route of administration more popular with the advent of cannabis therapies. A study was designed to further validate the models after oral ingestion of THC, and to determine whether they could predict last usage after multiple oral doses. Eighteen subjects in IRB-approved studies participated after providing informed consent. Each of 12 subjects in one group received a single 10 mg oral dose of dronabinol (synthetic THC). In another protocol, 6 subjects received 4 different oral daily doses, divided into thirds and administered with meals for 5 consecutive days. There was a 10-day washout period between each dosing regimen. Daily doses were 0.39, 0.47, and 14.8 mg THC in hemp oil and 7.5 mg dronabinol. Blood specimens were collected throughout the study and analyzed for plasma THC and 11-nor-9-carboxy-Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannbinol by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry with limits of quantification (LOQs) of 0.5 and 1.0 ng/mL, respectively. Actual times between ingestion of THC and blood collection spanned 0.5 to 16 hours. All plasma specimens with analyte concentrations >LOQ (n=90) were evaluated. Models 1 and 2 correctly predicted time of last THC ingestion for 74.4% and 90.0% of plasma specimens, respectively. 96.7% of predicted times were correct with one overestimate and 2 underestimates using the time interval defined by the lowest and highest 95% confidence limit of both models. These results provide further evidence of the usefulness of the predictive models in estimating the time of last oral THC ingestion after single or multiple doses.
    Therapeutic Drug Monitoring 08/2006; 28(4):540-4. · 2.23 Impact Factor
  • Therapeutic Drug Monitoring - THER DRUG MONIT. 01/2006; 28(4):545-551.
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the pharmacokinetics of orally administered cannabinoids is vitally important for optimizing therapeutic usage and to determine the impact of positive tests on drug detection programs. In this study, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (limit of quantitation = 2.5 ng/mL) was used to monitor the excretion of total 11-nor-9-carboxy-Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCCOOH) in 4381 urine voids collected from seven participants throughout a controlled clinical study of multiple oral doses of THC. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Institutional Review Board approved the study and each participant provided informed consent. Seven participants received 0, 0.39, 0.47, 7.5, and 14.8 mg THC/day for five days in this double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized protocol conducted on a closed research ward. No significant differences (P </= 0.05) were observed in mean time of maximum excretion rate, mean maximum excretion rate, and mean terminal elimination half-life (t(1/2)) between the four THC doses, with ranges of 67.4 to 94.9 h, 0.9 to 16.3 micro g/h, and 44.2 to 64.0 h, respectively. Mean apparent elimination t(1/2) of 24.1 +/- 7.8 and 21.1 +/- 4.3 h for the 7.5 and 14.8 mg/day doses, respectively, were calculated from the excretion rate curve prior to the last urine sample with a THCCOOH concentration >/= 15 ng/mL. An average of only 2.9 +/- 1.6%, 2.5 +/- 2.7%, 1.5 +/- 1.4%, and 0.6 +/- 0.5% of the THC in the 0.39, 0.47, 7.5, and 14.8 mg/day doses, respectively, was excreted as THCCOOH in the urine over each 14-day dosing session. This study demonstrated that the terminal urinary elimination t(1/2) of THCCOOH following oral administration was approximately two to three days for doses ranging from 0.39 to 14.8 mg/d. These data also demonstrate that the apparent urinary elimination t(1/2) of THCCOOH prior to reaching a 15 ng/mL concentration is significantly shorter than the terminal urinary elimination t(1/2). These controlled drug administration data should assist in the interpretation of urine cannabinoid results and provide clinicians with valuable information for future pharmacological studies.
    Journal of analytical toxicology 04/2004; 28(3):160-7. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A fully validated, highly sensitive and specific method for the extraction and quantification of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 11-hydroxy-Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC) and 11-nor-9-carboxy-Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCCOOH) in plasma is presented. This method incorporates Escherichia coli beta-glucuronidase hydrolysis to cleave glucuronic acid moieties to capture total analyte concentrations, and simultaneous solid phase extraction (SPE) of the three analytes in a single eluant with separation and quantification on a bench-top positive chemical ionization (PCI) gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in the selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode. Quantitation was achieved by the addition of deuterated analogues for each analyte as internal standards (IS). Limits of quantitation (LOQ) were 0.5, 0.5 and 1.0 for THC, 11-OH-THC and THCCOOH, respectively, with linearity ranging up to 50 ng/ml for THC and 11-OH-THC, and 100 ng/ml for THCCOOH. Absolute recoveries ranged from 67.3 to 83.5% for all three analytes. Intra-assay accuracy and precision ranged from 1.2 to 12.2 and 1.4 to 4.7%, respectively. Inter-assay accuracy and precision ranged from 1.4 to 12.2 and 3.1 to 7.3%, respectively. This method was used to analyze plasma samples collected from individuals participating in a controlled oral THC administration study. Statistically significant (P< or =0.05) increases of 40% for 11-OH-THC and 42% for THCCOOH concentrations were found between hydrolyzed and non-hydrolyzed results. This method will be utilized in ongoing controlled cannabinoid administration studies and may be a useful analytical procedure for the fields of forensic toxicology and cannabinoid pharmacology.
    Journal of Chromatography B 01/2004; 798(1):145-54. · 2.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Urinary cannabinoid excretion and immunoassay performance were evaluated by semiquantitative immunoassay and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis of metabolite concentrations in 4381 urine specimens collected before, during, and after controlled oral administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Seven individuals received 0, 0.39, 0.47, 7.5, and 14.8 mg THC/day in this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, clinical study conducted on a closed research ward. THC doses (hemp oils with various THC concentrations and the therapeutic drug Marinol) were administered three times daily for 5 days. All urine voids were collected over the 10-week study and later tested by Emit II, DRI, and CEDIA immunoassays and by GC/MS. Detection rates, detection times, and sensitivities, specificities, and efficiencies of the immunoassays were determined. At the federally mandated immunoassay cutoff (50 microg/L), mean detection rates were <0.2% during ingestion of the two low doses typical of current hemp oil THC concentrations. The two high doses produced mean detection rates of 23-46% with intermittent positive tests up to 118 h. Maximum metabolite concentrations were 5.4-38.2 microg/L for the low doses and 19.0-436 micro g/L for the high doses. Emit II, DRI, and CEDIA immunoassays had similar performance efficiencies of 92.8%, 95.2%, and 93.9%, respectively, but differed in sensitivity and specificity. The use of cannabinoid-containing foodstuffs and cannabinoid-based therapeutics, and continued abuse of oral cannabis require scientific data for accurate interpretation of cannabinoid tests and for making reliable administrative drug-testing policy. At the federally mandated cannabinoid cutoffs, it is possible but unlikely for a urine specimen to test positive after ingestion of manufacturer-recommended doses of low-THC hemp oils. Urine tests have a high likelihood of being positive after Marinol therapy. The Emit II and DRI assays had adequate sensitivity and specificity, but the CEDIA assay failed to detect many true-positive specimens.
    Clinical Chemistry 07/2003; 49(7):1114-24. · 7.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Urinary cannabinoid excretion and immu- noassay performance were evaluated by semiquantita- tive immunoassay and gas chromatography-mass spec- trometry (GC/MS) analysis of metabolite concentrations in 4381 urine specimens collected before, during, and after controlled oral administration of tetrahydrocan- nabinol (THC). Methods: Seven individuals received 0, 0.39, 0.47, 7.5, and 14.8 mg THC/day in this double-blind, placebo- controlled, randomized, clinical study conducted on a closed research ward. THC doses (hemp oils with vari- ous THC concentrations and the therapeutic drug Mari- nol®) were administered three times daily for 5 days. All urine voids were collected over the 10-week study and later tested by Emit II®, DRI®, and CEDIA® immunoas- says and by GC/MS. Detection rates, detection times, and sensitivities, specificities, and efficiencies of the immunoassays were determined. Results: At the federally mandated immunoassay cutoff (50 g/L), mean detection rates were
    Clinical Chemistry - CLIN CHEM. 01/2003; 49(7).