Detecting New Designer Cannabinoids in Herbal Incense using LC-MS-MS with Fast Precursor Ion Scanning

Forensics and anti-doping labs rely on LC-MS-MS for detection of controlled and banned substances. LC-MS-MS methods use MRM analysis for the highest sensitivity and selectivity, however these methods only detect analytes whose MRM transitions are known in advance. In order to circumvent drug laws, designer drugs are synthesized which are not detected by traditional MRM-based methods. Because designer drugs often share common product ions and neutral losses, precursor ion or neutral loss scanning could be used to detect them. We developed LC-MS-MS methods that utilize extremely fast precursor ion scanning for detection of designer cannabinoids in herbal incense products. The urine of human subjects who reported synthetic cannabinoid exposure was also analyzed using a newly developed high sensitivity triple quadrupole mass spectrometer from Shimadzu, the LCMS-8040.

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Liquid Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometry, Mass Spectrometry
Cannabinoid, herbal incense, N-alkyl chain, indole group, K2 Spice, Clinical research, Forensics, Hydrocarbon Processing Industry (Petrochemical, Chemical), Clinical research, LCMS-8040
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