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Analysis of First and Second Generation Legal Highs for Synthetic Cannabinoids and Synthetic Stimula

Analysis of First and Second Generation Legal Highs for Synthetic Cannabinoids and Synthetic Stimula

  1. stryder09
    Various “legal high” products were tested for synthetic cannabinoids
    and synthetic stimulants to qualitatively determine the active
    ingredient(s). Ultra-performance liquid chromatography with accurate
    mass time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC–TOF) was used
    to monitor the non-biological specimens utilizing a customized
    panel of 651 compounds comprised of synthetic cannabinoids,
    synthetic stimulants and other related drugs. Over the past year,
    the United States Drug Enforcement Agency has controlled five synthetic
    cannabinoid compounds (JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-
    47,497 and CP-47,497-C8) and three synthetic stimulant compounds
    (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, mephedrone and methylone) that
    were previously reported to be detected in these legal high products.
    Through our analyses of first and second generation products,
    it was shown that many of these banned substances are no
    longer used and have been replaced by other derivatives that are
    federally legal. Since enactment of the federal bans on synthetic
    cannabinoids and synthetic stimulants, 4.9% of the products analyzed
    at our facility contained at least one controlled substance.
    The remaining 95.1% of products contained only uncontrolled
    drugs. We demonstrate the UPLC–TOF methodology to be a powerful
    tool in the qualitative identification of these designer drugs,
    thus enabling a laboratory to keep current with the drugs that are
    being sold as these designer products.