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Sioux Falls, DC, United States

Davies B.B.,George Washington University | Bayard C.,The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | Larson S.J.,679 Palmer Street | Zarwell L.W.,The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | Mitchell R.A.,The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2016

Identification and analysis of synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) in biological specimens remains an ongoing challenge for forensic toxicologists. Analytical method development is both resource and time consuming, and falls behind the illicit production of newer SCs. Distinguishing optimal metabolic targets and specific SC use is further complicated by metabolic pathway convergence between different SCs. Gaining further insight into the prevalence and psychopharmacologic role of these drugs in forensic cases, particularly in individuals suspected of driving impaired, is important. The prevalence of SC metabolites (SCMs) in suspects of impaired driving in Washington, DC between June 2012 and August 2013 was studied. A total of 526 urine samples were screened for 12 SCMs by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry in separate duplicate analyses. Nineteen cases (3.6%) confirmed positive for the following SCMs: UR-144 N-pentanoic acid (n = 17;89%), JWH-073 butanoic acid (n = 3;16%), JWH-018 pentanoic acid (n = 3;16%), AM-2201 4-hydroxypentyl (n = 3;16%) and 5-fluoro PB22 3-carboxyindole (n = 1;5%). This study made use of existing analytical methodology to provide insight into the prevalence of synthetic cannabinoid use in DUID cases. Understanding the range and extent of use in these cases can provide valuable information to the forensic community. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

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