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Identification and quantification of synthetic cannabinoids in ‘spice-like’ herbal mixtures: Update of the German situation in summer 2018

Ernst, Ludger, Langer, Nico, Bockelmann, Aileen, Salkhordeh, Elaheh, Beuerle, Till
Forensic science international 2019 v.294 pp. 96-102
Internet, active ingredients, cannabinoids, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, summer, tandem mass spectrometry
In June 2018, 15 ‘Spice-like’ herbal products from German language internet shops were analyzed. In total, three different synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) were identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). Two of the active ingredients were identified as the recently described 5F-ADB and Cumyl-PeGaClone. The third compound was identified as the so far unknown SC 5F-Cumyl-PeGaClone. 5F-Cumyl-PeGaClone was subject to an in-depth characterization by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), electron ionization mass spectrometry (EI–MS), electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI–MS/MS), infrared and uItraviolet–visible spectroscopy (IR and UV/Vis).In addition, all SCs in all products were quantified by a GC–MS method using JWH-018 as internal standard and corresponding response factors. While Cumyl-PeGaClone and 5F-ADB were detected in one, respectively two products, the newly identified 5F-Cumyl-PeGaClone was detected as the only active ingredient in the remaining twelve products. The SC content ranged from 14.7 to 76.2mg/g (average: 32.1mg/g).