Journal Article

Segmental Hair Analysis for 11-Nor-Δ<sup>9</sup>-Tetrahydrocannabinol-9-Carboxylic Acid and the Patterns of Cannabis Use

Eunyoung Han, Heesun Chung and Joon Myong Song

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 36, issue 3, pages 195-200
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online April 2012 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/bks010
Segmental Hair Analysis for 11-Nor-Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol-9-Carboxylic Acid and the Patterns of Cannabis Use

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Cannabis is the most widely abused drug in the world. The purpose of this study is to detect 11-nor-9-carboxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCCOOH) in segmental hair and to evaluate the patterns of cannabis use. We investigated the relationship between the concentrations of THCCOOH in hair and the self-reported use data and the route of administration. For this purpose, the hair samples were washed, digested with 1 mL of 1M NaOH at 85°C for 30 min along with the internal standard, THCCOOH-d3 (2.5 pg/mg) and extracted in 2 mL of n-hexane–ethyl acetate (9:1) twice after adding 1 mL of 0.1N sodium acetate buffer (pH = 4.5) and 200 µL of acetic acid. The organic extract was transferred and evaporated and the mixture was derivatized with 50 µL of pentafluoropropionic anhydride and 25 µL of pentafluoropropanol for 30 min at 70°C. Reconstituted final extract was injected into the gas chromatography–tandem mass spectrometer operating in the negative chemical ionization mode.

In segmental hair analysis, the concentrations of THCCOOH decreased from the proximal to distal segments. The concentrations of THCCOOH in hair and the self-reported dose and frequency of administration from cannabis users were not well correlated because of the low accuracy and reliability of the self-reported data. However, this study provides preliminary information on the dose and frequency of administration among cannabis users in our country.

Journal Article.  4367 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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