Cannabinoids and Synthetic Cannabinoids
Analytical Challenges in the Determination of Cannabinoids
Several preparations of Cannabis sativa are estimated to be consumed by 200–300 million people around the world, being the most popular illicit drug of the 21st century . New types of drugs of abuse containing synthetic cannabinoids are becoming increasingly popular mainly in Europe and the USA , and they are usually referred to as new psychoactive substances (NPS). NPS are often unregulated drugs, since molecules are modified to circumvent the law, and are designed to produce effects that are similar to those of illegal substances .
Sample preparation can be done by protein precipitation without any further pretreatment [11,19], or it can be followed by solid phase extraction (SPE) [8,13–15,20]. However, cannabinoids can be strongly bound to endogenous substances, and simple protein precipitation may result in low recovery. As such, some methods have used liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) [7,16,21] or simple SPE [10,12,17,18] procedures instead. Determination of cannabinoids is generally performed in whole blood, but plasma and serum can be used to predict the time of the last exposure to THC [15,20] based on mathematical models that use either the concentration of THC (model I) or the concentration ratio of THCCOOH to THC (model II) [22–24].
Tiago Rosado1,2, Nicolás Fernández3, Mário Barroso4, Ângelo Luís1,2, Sofia Soares1,2, Joana Gonçalves1,2, Ana Y. Simão1,2, Débora Caramelo1,2, Ana P. Duarte1,2, Eugenia Gallardo1,2
1Centro de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde, Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde da Universidade da Beira Interior (CICS-UBI), Covilhã, Portugal
2Laboratório de Fármaco Toxicologia, UBIMedical, Universidade da Beira Interior (CICS-UBI), Covilhã, Portugal
3Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Cátedra de Toxicología y Química Legal, Laboratorio de Asesoramiento Toxicológico Analítico (CENATOXA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4Serviço de Química e Toxicologia Forenses, Instituto de Medicina Legal e Ciências Forenses—Delegação do Sul, Lisboa, Portugal
Prof. Eugenia Gallardo
Centro de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde and Laboratório de Fármaco Toxicologia - UBIMedical,
Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
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