Method development and validation for synthetic and natural cannabinoids on LC-MS/MS

Remeskevicius, Vytautas (2020) Method development and validation for synthetic and natural cannabinoids on LC-MS/MS. (MSc(R) thesis), Kingston University, .


A method was developed for analysis of natural and synthetic cannabinoids: THC, THCCOOH, AM-2201, JWH-018 N4-hydroxypentyl and AB-CHMINACA. The method was validated based on UKIAFT, SWGTOX and ISO 17025 guidelines. The parameters that required validation were accuracy, precision, linearity, range, carryover, LOD, LOQ, recovery, matrix effect, repeatability, reproducibility, dilution integrity, selectivity and specificity, stability and robustness. Moreover, the method was validated based on Forensic Science Regulators guidelines and criteria, so it could be utilised in road traffic toxicology. The validation was successful for all five analytes, all analytes passed tested parameters. This LC-MS/MS technique can be utilised for the detection of THC in road traffic casework as it is in line with the Forensic Science Regulators guidelines for quantifying drugs under Section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This method also facilitates the analysis of SC, at concentrations typically detected in users and coronial cases associated with SC overdose. There is also the possibility to expand the method, to detect a wider range of drugs, by dding new SC to LC-MS/MS library, including new and emerging SC appearing in market. The validated method can be beneficial to analyse road traffic casework samples and SC concurrently, which can help to find out the prevalence and popularity of SC with the general population. In addition, the method was tested using clotted versus non-clotted blood, to test methods robustness. The study looked at twenty clotted samples and 10 non-clotted samples, to find out what effects clotting has on THC and THC-COOH measured concentrations. The research seems to indicate that clotting of blood alters the measured concentrations of THC and THC-COOH. The results also indicate that the method is robust and can be utilised to analyse whole blood and clotted blood.

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