Agilent Technologies Inc. announced availability of the industry’s first GC/MS compendium to test for synthetic cannabinoids, recently declared controlled substances by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. They are most commonly found in “herbal incense” blends.
The compendium, available from Agilent at no cost to qualified forensics labs, contains detailed procedures for sample preparation and GC/MS method, plus a searchable mass-spectral library to test for 35 synthetic cannabinoids and their derivatives. The method and library were developed in collaboration with the Criminalistics Division of NMS Labs, an independent forensic laboratory certified by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology and the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors.
“These compounds had not been controlled until November of 2010, when health concerns prompted the DEA to evoke an emergency ban,” said Tom Gluodenis, Ph.D., Agilent forensic and toxicology business manager. “They present a number of analytical challenges. Formulations are rapidly evolving. When one is banned, it can quickly be replaced by a new one. They’re often sold in botanical matrixes as ‘herbal incense’ and other products, which presents additional challenges. We published this compendium to help labs get a handle on this dynamic situation.”
The DEA currently controls six versions of synthetic cannabinoids: JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47-497 (C7), CP-47-497 (C8) and HU-210. There are more than 20 uncontrolled forms, and this number is expected to grow.