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Subject: Cannabis Sativa
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An aromatic annual plant with origins in central Asia. The plant is known to contain 61 cannabinoids, including delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) and cannabidiol.
Other names: marijuana, hashish, hash, sinsemilla, pot, grass.
No federally recognized medical use (schedule I, Controlled Substances Act)
Self-administered for its mood-altering properties—stimulant/depressant at low doses; CNS depressant at high doses
Screening assays are commonly immunoassay based.
ELISA for blood, serum, plasma
Target analyte: delta-9-THC
Cutoff concentration–variable 2–5 ng/mL
May exhibit significant cross-reactivity with 11-hydroxy-THC, carboxy-THC [THC-COOH]
Low cross-reactivity with cannabidiol, cannabinol, delta-8-THC
EIA for urine
Target analyte: THC-COOH (metabolite)
Cutoff concentration: 20 ng/mL, 50 ng/mL
Approximately 50% cross-reactivity with cannabinol, 11-OH-THC
Confirmation assays are commonly chromatography based regardless of specimen
Highly glucuronidated–hydrolysis recommended for analysis of urine
Urine confirmation assays typically target only THC-COOH; limit of detection/quantitation is 5–15 ng/mL
GC/MS: selected ion -monitoring mode for quantitative analysis of serum, plasma for THC, 11-OH-THC, THC-COOH; limits of quantitation: 1–5 ng/mL.
LC/MSn (multiple MS).
Multiple reaction–monitoring mode for qualitative or quantitative analysis of THC, 11-OH-THC, THC-COOH
Limits of detection/quantitation: 0.5–5 ng/mL