Synthetic cannabinoids are some of the most widely abused drugs in the world. They are structurally similar and have similar effects to marijuana but are frequently referred to as “legal highs”. Chemists are constantly changing the structures of these compounds to keep them in a legal state and governments can’t keep up with adding them to scheduled lists. So, how do we analyze for these compounds? How can they be easily extracted from whole blood?
We recently published an application note outlining the work done by Rebecca Mastrovito from National Medical Services in Pennsylvania, USA.
She developed a method for some of the newer synthetic cannabinoid compounds using the Biotage Supported Liquid Extraction cartridges ISOLUTE SLE+.
List of synthetic cannabinoid compounds analyzed:
-5-Fluoro CUMYL P7AICA
-4 cyano CUMYL BINACA
-5-Fluoro MDMB PICA
-4-Fluoro MDMB BINACA
-5-Fluoro CUMYL PINACA
This method involved a simple pretreatment of the whole blood samples with water, loading them onto the ISOLUTE SLE+ cartridge, and eluting with ethyl acetate. The extracts were then evaporated, reconstituted, and analyzed using LC-MS/MS.
This method is much faster than traditional SPE methods: 48 samples can be fully extracted in about an hour and that includes the evaporation step!
Recoveries weren’t sacrificed when using this faster method and were above 60% for all synthetic cannabinoids in the method. The resulting extracts are also clean with minimal matrix effects.
When looking to develop a quick, easy, efficient extraction for synthetic cannabinoids, the ISOLUTE SLE+ offers great recovery with a simplified workflow.
If you’re interested in more information about the method, please check out the application note mentioned above through the link below.