Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of JWH-018 metabolites in urine samples with direct comparison to analytical standards
by Emerson, Beth; Durham, Bill; Gidden, Jennifer; Lay, Jackson O., Jr.
JWH-018 (1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl) indole) is one of numerous potential aminoalkylindoles contained in products marketed as 'K2' or 'Spice'. Investigation of the urinary metabolites from consumption of these compounds is important because they are banned in the United States and many European countries. An efficient extraction procedure and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method were developed for detection of 'K2' metabolites in urine from individuals suspected of using these products. Analytical standards were used to elucidate the structure-specific mass spectral fragmentations and retention properties to confirm proposed identifications and support quantitative studies. A procedure for the synthesis of one of these metabolites (5-hydroxypentyl JWH-018) was also developed. Results are comparable to existing LC-MS/MS methods, with the same primary metabolites detected. The specific metabolite hydrolysis products include 4-hydroxpentyl, 5-hydroxypentyl, and N-pentanoic acid derivatives.
- Forensic Science International
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