Quantification of 11-Carboxy-Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH) in Meconium Using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)

  • Judy Peat
  • Brehon Davis
  • Clint Frazee
  • Uttam GargEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1383)


Maternal substance abuse is an ongoing concern and detecting drug use during pregnancy is an important component of neonatal care when drug abuse is suspected. Meconium is the preferred specimen for drug testing because it is easier to collect than neonatal urine and it provides a much broader time frame of drug exposure. We describe a method for quantifying 11-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH) in meconium. After adding a labeled internal standard (THC-COOH D9) and acetonitrile, samples are sonicated to release both free and conjugated THC-COOH. The acetonitrile/aqueous layer is removed and mixed with a strong base to hydrolyze the conjugated THC-COOH. The samples are then extracted with an organic solvent mixture as part of a sample “cleanup.” The organic solvent layer is discarded and the remaining aqueous sample is acidified. Following extraction with a second organic mixture, the organic layer is removed and concentrated to dryness. The resulting residue is converted to a trimethylsilyl (TMS) derivative and analyzed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) in selective ion monitoring (SIM) mode.

Key words

Substance abuse Meconium Marijuana 11-Carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxy-THC 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judy Peat
    • 1
  • Brehon Davis
    • 1
  • Clint Frazee
    • 1
  • Uttam Garg
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineChildren’s Mercy Hospitals and ClinicsKansas CityUSA

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