Journal Article

Stabilization of Urinary THC Solutions With a Simple Non-Ionic Surfactant*

Eric R. Welsh, J. Jacob Snyder and Kevin L. Klette

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 33, issue 1, pages 51-55
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Stabilization of Urinary THC Solutions With a Simple Non-Ionic Surfactant*

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To stabilize urinary solutions against adsorptive loss of metabolites of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a non-ionic surfactant, Tergitol™, was investigated to reduce the need for special handling and storage of such solutions. Addition of surfactant up to 20 times the critical micelle concentration (CMC) did not adversely affect the analytical process. Yet, at only two times CMC, surfactant was found to mitigate adsorptive loss of THC analytes under a variety of storage and handling conditions including exposure to glass and plastic surfaces, after storage in a refrigerator or freezer, and at reduced pH, where adsorptive losses were expected to be significant. On average, micellar solubilization of analyte increased the assayed concentration by 10% with a range of 3 to 20%, depending on condition, relative to solutions without surfactant. Solutions with surfactant did not fail (i.e., deviate in concentration by ± 20%) over a 49-week period, whereas those without surfactant failed by 21 weeks. These results indicate that addition of small amounts of non-ionic surfactant to solutions of urinary THC metabolites is a simple method to improve both the accuracy and precision of analyte concentrations, as determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, in such solutions by mitigating adsorptive losses during storage and handling events.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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