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Simultaneous Quantification Of Cannabinoids And Metabolites In Oral Fluid

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Simultaneous quantification of cannabinoids and metabolites in oral fluid by two-dimensional gas chromatography mass spectrometry

Milman G, Barnes AJ, Lowe RH, Huestis MA.

Chemistry and Drug Metabolism, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, 251 Bayview Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.

Development and validation of a method for simultaneous identification and quantification of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), and metabolites 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC) and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THCCOOH) in oral fluid. Simultaneous analysis was problematic due to different physicochemical characteristics and concentration ranges. Neutral analytes, such as THC and CBD, are present in ng/mL, rather than pg/mL concentrations, as observed for the acidic THCCOOH biomarker in oral fluid. THCCOOH is not present in cannabis smoke, definitively differentiating cannabis use from passive smoke exposure. THC, 11-OH-THC, THCCOOH, CBD, and CBN quantification was achieved in a single oral fluid specimen collected with the Quantisal device. One mL oral fluid/buffer solution (0.25 mL oral fluid and 0.75 mL buffer) was applied to conditioned CEREX Polycrom THC solid-phase extraction (SPE) columns. After washing, THC, 11-OH-THC, CBD, and CBN were eluted with hexane/acetone/ethyl acetate (60:30:20, v/v/v), derivatized with N,O-bis-(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide and quantified by two-dimensional gas chromatography electron ionization mass spectrometry (2D-GCMS) with cold trapping. Acidic THCCOOH was separately eluted with hexane/ethyl acetate/acetic acid (75:25:2.5, v/v/v), derivatized with trifluoroacetic anhydride and hexafluoroisopropanol, and quantified by the more sensitive 2D-GCMS-electron capture negative chemical ionization (NCI-MS). Linearity was 0.5-50 ng/mL for THC, 11-OH-THC, CBD and 1-50 ng/mL for CBN. The linear dynamic range for THCCOOH was 7.5-500 pg/mL. Intra- and inter-assay imprecision as percent RSD at three concentrations across the linear dynamic range were 0.3-6.6%. Analytical recovery was within 13.8% of target. This new SPE 2D-GCMS assay achieved efficient quantification of five cannabinoids in oral fluid, including pg/mL concentrations of THCCOOH by combining differential elution, 2D-GCMS with electron ionization and negative chemical ionization. This method will be applied to quantification of cannabinoids in oral fluid specimens from individuals participating in controlled cannabis and Sativex (50% THC and 50% CBD) administration studies, and during cannabis withdrawal.

Published by Elsevier B.V.

Source: Simultaneous quantification of cannabinoids and metabolites in oral fluid by two-dimensional gas chromatography mass spectrometry
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