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Spice: A Never Ending Story?

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On January 22nd 2009, the German Health Authorities prohibited several non-traditional cannabinoids, that proved to be the active components in popular "Bio-Designer-Drugs" like "Spice" and analogous products. The recent detection of CP 47,497-C8 in Europe and Japan documents that these products have already spread world wide. We synthesized several potentially interesting alkylaminoindoles (alkylchain C(3) to C(7)) and isolated CP 47,497-C8 from "Spice Gold". The compounds were purified and characterized by NMR and mass spectrometry methods. With the aid of these authentic references we were able to detect and quantify added psychoactive compounds in different herbal blends. All samples that were acquired before the prohibition in December 2008 contained either CP 47,497-C8 (5.4-11.0mg/g) or JWH-018 (2.3mg/g). Some samples acquired in March 2009, 4 weeks after the prohibition took place, still contained CP 47,497-C8 (3.0-3.3mg/g) but JWH-018 was not detected anymore. Instead it was replaced by its non-regulated C(4)-homolog JWH-073 (5.8-22.9 mg/g). Furthermore some of the new products did not contain any non-traditional cannabinoids. To our knowledge this is the first report of the appearance JWH-073 as a new designer drug. The data and method presented here will facilitate and accelerate the detection of these compounds in complex matrices.

Source: Spice: a never ending story? [Forensic Sci Int. 2009] - PubMed - NCBI
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