This article reports the analysis of four cannabinoid-based products. These products were part of a case involving visual and auditory hallucinations that precipitated the commission of a felony and subsequent arrest.
The products were labeled to contain Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC) or THC acetate (THC-O-A). Primary reference materials were not available for Δ8-THC-O-A, Δ10-THC-O-A, cannabidiol di-acetate (CBD-di-O-A) or respective deuterated internal standards. THC-O-A and CBD-di-O-A standards were prepared by derivatizing Δ8-THC, Δ9-THC, Δ10-THC, CBD, Δ9-THC-d3 and CBD-d3 using acetic anhydride. The cannabinoid-based products were determined to contain Δ8-THC, Δ8-THC-O-A, Δ9-THC-O-A and CBD-di-O-A and/or other phytocannabinoids using three different analytical techniques. Direct analysis in real-time–time-of-flight mass spectrometry was used for identifying exact masses. A gas chromatograph–mass spectrometer was used for the identification of compounds and to quantitate THC-O-As in the products. A liquid chromatograph–tandem mass spectrometer was used to identify and quantitate phytocannabinoids and CBD-di-O-A in the products. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first case report involving the identification of THC-O-As and CBD-di-O-A in commercially available products. Minimal clinical/pharmacological data is available for these emerging synthetic cannabinoids/novel psychoactive substances. (Publisher abstract provided)