Identification and quantification of synthetic cannabinoids in “spice-like” herbal mixtures: update of the German situation for the spring of 2015
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In February 2015, 13 “spice-like” products, available on the German market, were analyzed. In total, eight different synthetic cannabinoids were identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), namely 5-fluoro-AB-PINACA, AB-CHMINACA, AB-FUBINACA, 5-fluoro-PB-22, 5-fluoro-AMB, MDMB-CHMICA, EAM-2201 and STS-135. In most of the products (11/13), only one synthetic cannabinoid was identified, while two products contained two or three synthetic cannabinoids. For some of the compounds (5-fluoro-AB-PINACA, AB-CHMINACA, 5-fluoro-AMB) only insufficient physicochemical data are available in literature. To our knowledge MDMB-CHMICA (sometimes mistakenly referred to as MBMD-CHMINACA) was not described earlier in scientific literature, and, hence, an in-depth characterization of these compounds by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, electron ionization–mass spectroscopy, electrospray ionization–tandem mass spectroscopy (ESI-MS/MS), infrared spectroscopy and ultraviolet spectroscopy was conducted for eight compounds. In addition, we developed an ESI-MS method for the direct quantification of synthetic cannabinoids in commercial smoking blends, without chromatographic separation. Quantification was achieved using methyl 3-(3-(1-naphthoyl)-1H-indol-1-yl)propionate as the internal standard with appropriate response factors. The total contents of synthetic cannabinoids in the investigated products ranged from 60 to 446 mg/g, while individual compounds ranged from 12 to 314 mg/g.
KeywordsSynthetic cannabinoids MDMB-CHMICA 5-Fluoro-AB-PINACA AB-CHMINACA AB-FUBINACA German situation
This work was supported by Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM) des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWI) FKZ: KF31565015K3. The authors express their gratitude to Lisa Sieverling, Judith Carla Schürmann and Kerstin Ollenborger for their helpful assistance.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
There are no financial or other relations that could lead to a conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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