Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 406, Issue 15, pp 3621–3636 | Cite as

Metabolism of JWH-015, JWH-098, JWH-251, and JWH-307 in silico and in vitro: a pilot study for the detection of unknown synthetic cannabinoids metabolites

  • Sabina Strano-RossiEmail author
  • Luca Anzillotti
  • Stefania Dragoni
  • Roberto Maria Pellegrino
  • Laura Goracci
  • Vincenzo Lorenzo Pascali
  • Gabriele Cruciani
Research Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Forensic Toxicology


This pilot study was performed to study the main metabolic reactions of four synthetic cannabinoids: JWH-015, JWH-098, JWH-251, and JWH-307 in order to setup a screening method for the detection of main metabolites in biological fluids. In silico prediction of main metabolic reactions was performed using MetaSite software. To evaluate the agreement between software prediction and experimental reactions, we performed in vitro experiments on the same JWHs using rat liver slices. The obtained samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight and the identification of metabolites was executed using Mass-MetaSite software that automatically assigned the metabolite structures to the peaks detected based on their accurate masses and fragmentation. A comparison between the experimental findings and the in silico metabolism prediction using MetaSite software showed a good accordance between experimental and in silico data. Thus, the use of in silico metabolism prediction might represent a useful tool for the forensic and clinical toxicologist to identify possible main biomarkers for synthetic cannabinoids in biological fluids, especially urine, following their administration.


JWH-098: Most probable predicted sites of metabolism and main metabolites formed in vitro


Synthetic cannabinoids In silico metabolism prediction In vitro metabolism Forensic toxicology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabina Strano-Rossi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luca Anzillotti
    • 1
  • Stefania Dragoni
    • 2
  • Roberto Maria Pellegrino
    • 2
  • Laura Goracci
    • 2
  • Vincenzo Lorenzo Pascali
    • 1
  • Gabriele Cruciani
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Public HealthCatholic University of Sacred HeartRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly

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