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Cannabinoids in oral fluid by on-site immunoassay and by GC-MS using two different oral fluid collection devices

Abstract

Oral fluid (OF) enables non-invasive sample collection for on-site drug testing, but performance of on-site tests with occasional and frequent smokers’ OF to identify cannabinoid intake requires further evaluation. Furthermore, as far as we are aware, no studies have evaluated differences between cannabinoid disposition among OF collection devices with authentic OF samples after controlled cannabis administration. Fourteen frequent (≥4 times per week) and 10 occasional (less than twice a week) adult cannabis smokers smoked one 6.8 % ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cigarette ad libitum over 10 min. OF was collected with the StatSure Saliva Sampler, Oral-Eze, and Draeger DrugTest 5000 test cassette before and up to 30 h after cannabis smoking. Test cassettes were analyzed within 15 min and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry cannabinoid results were obtained within 24 h. Cannabinoid concentrations with the StatSure and Oral-Eze devices were compared and times of last cannabinoid detection (t last) and DrugTest 5000 test performance were assessed for different cannabinoid cutoffs. 11-nor-9-Carboxy-THC (THCCOOH) and cannabinol concentrations were significantly higher in Oral-Eze samples than in Stat-Sure samples. DrugTest 5000 t last for a positive cannabinoid test were median (range) 12 h (4–24 h) and 21 h (1– ≥ 30 h) for occasional and frequent smokers, respectively. Detection windows in screening and confirmatory tests were usually shorter for occasional than for frequent smokers, especially when including THCCOOH ≥20 ng L−1 in confirmation criteria. No differences in t last were observed between collection devices, except for THC ≥2 μg L−1. We thus report significantly different THCCOOH and cannabinol, but not THC, concentrations between OF collection devices, which may affect OF data interpretation. The DrugTest 5000 on-site device had high diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency for cannabinoids.

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Abbreviations

CBD:

Cannabidiol

CBN:

Cannabinol

DRUID:

Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol and medicines

DUID:

Driving under the influence of drugs

FN:

False negative

FP:

False positive

LOQ:

Limit of quantification

OF:

Oral fluid

SAMHSA:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

THC:

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol

THCCOOH:

11-nor-9-carboxy-THC

t last :

Time of last detection

TN:

True negative

TP:

True positive

2D-GC–MS:

Two dimensional gas chromatography mass spectrometry

11-OH-THC:

11-Hydroxy-THC

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Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the contributions of clinical staff of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Intramural Research Program, and Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit and Clinical Research Unit, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and Dr Sébastien Anizan and Dr David M. Schwope for protocol assistance, the Graduate Partnership Program, NIH, and the “Fondation Baxter et Alma Ricard”. The Draeger DrugTest 5000, Oral-Eze, and StatSure devices were provided by the manufacturers to NIH through Materials Transfer Agreements. This research was funded by the Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH.

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Correspondence to Marilyn A. Huestis.

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Desrosiers, N.A., Milman, G., Mendu, D.R. et al. Cannabinoids in oral fluid by on-site immunoassay and by GC-MS using two different oral fluid collection devices. Anal Bioanal Chem 406, 4117–4128 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-014-7813-9

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Keywords

  • Cannabinoid
  • Oral fluid
  • On-site test
  • Draeger DrugTest 5000