Journal Article

Simultaneous Analysis of the Δ<sup>9</sup>-THC Metabolites 11-nor-9-Carboxy-Δ<sup>9</sup>-THC and 11-Hydroxy-Δ<sup>9</sup>-THC in Meconium by GC-MS

Rebecka Coles, Thomas T. Clements, Gordon J. Nelson, Gwendolyn A. McMillin and Francis M. Urry

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 29, issue 6, pages 522-527
Published in print September 2005 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/29.6.522
Simultaneous Analysis of the Δ9-THC Metabolites 11-nor-9-Carboxy-Δ9-THC and 11-Hydroxy-Δ9-THC in Meconium by GC-MS

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Neonates that are exposed to cannabinoids in utero may have characteristic physical and mental developmental problems throughout their lives. The early identification of exposed neonates allows early intervention and anticipation of potential problems. Testing meconium detects maternal marijuana use over the last four months of gestation, providing a better drug exposure marker than urine. However, the distribution of metabolites in meconium is not identical to urine and analytical methods must be adapted. Both the major urine metabolite, 11-nor-9-carboxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (9-carboxy-THC), and a minor urine metabolite, 11-hydroxy-Δ9g-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-hydroxy-THC), are common in meconium. Currently published methods to extract these two metabolites for instrumental analysis are time-consuming and laborious, often involving the preparation of two fractions. This study describes a simple solid-phase extraction method and an optimized hydrolysis method that allow the preparation and analysis of both metabolites in a single extract. The limit of detection by this extraction method was 5 ng/g for both metabolites with an analytical measurement range from 10 to 500 ng/g. The recovery at 100 ng/g was greater than 62% for both analytes. The analysis of 246 cannabinoid screen positive specimens illustrated the importance of including the 11-hydroxy-THC in a meconium marijuana confirmation: 16 specimens confirmed positive for 11-hydroxy-THC only, resulting in a 6.5% increase in the positivity rate compared to 9-carboxy-THC alone.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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