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Tetrahydrocannabinol and two of its metabolites in whole blood using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

Journal of analytical toxicology (2008-11-15)
Cynthia Coulter, Elizabeth Miller, Katherine Crompton, Christine Moore
ABSTRACT

An analytical procedure for the determination of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 11-nor-9-carboxy-Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCA), and 11-hydroxy-Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC) in whole blood has been developed and validated using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectral detection (MS). Cannabinoids present in the blood samples were quantified using solid-phase extraction followed by MS detection in positive electrospray ionization mode. For confirmation, two transitions were monitored and one ratio determined. Samples being reported as positive were required to have both transitions present, the ratio of quantifying transition to qualifying transition being within 20% of that determined from known calibration standards. The monitoring of the qualifying transition and requirement for its presence within a specific ratio to the primary ion has the potential of limiting the sensitivity of the assay, however, the additional confidence in the final result as well as forensic defensibility were considered to be of greater importance. The limit of quantitation was 0.5 ng/mL for THC, 5 ng/mL for THCA, and 2 ng/mL for 11-OH-THC. The limit of detection was 0.5 ng/mL for THC, 4 ng/mL for THCA, and 1 ng/mL for 11-OH-THC. The percentage recovery of the cannabinoids from whole blood at a concentration of 5 ng/mL was 71.5% for THC, 64.5% for 11-OH-THC, and 61.2% for THCA (n = 3).

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Supelco
(±)-11-Hydroxy-Δ9-THC solution, 100 μg/mL in methanol, ampule of 1 mL, certified reference material, Cerilliant®
Supelco
(±)-11-Hydroxy-Δ9-THC solution, 1.0 mg/mL in methanol, ampule of 1 mL, certified reference material, Cerilliant®