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Development of Heated Headspace Solid Phase Microextraction-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry for Chemical Profiling of Marijuana

NCJ Number
251909
Date Published
Author(s)
Jorn (Chi Chung) Yu
Annotation
The goal of this research project was to develop a new forensic analytical system and workflow that will provide an effective, faster, more efficient means of detecting cannabinoids in marijuana samples.
Abstract
The project determined that optimal heated headspace solid phase microextraction-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (HHS-SPME-GC/MS) was reliable and robust in capturing headspace cannabinoids from small amounts of marijuana samples. This process was solvent free, automated, and nearly non-destructive. One of the general concerns of using the SPME extraction method in forensic work is carryover; however, in the optimal HHS-SPME-GC/MS condition, researchers did not observe carryovers of major cannabinoids from the method used once the fiber was conditioned at 250 degrees centigrade for 10 minutes before the next run. Because of the change in legal status of marijuana at the state level, an ideal forensic analysis of marijuana evidence should not only confirm the presence of major cannabinoids in the evidence, but also determine the variety or source of marijuana. An improved chemical classification scheme for the determination of marijuana varieties is needed for the criminal justice system. Current forensic marijuana testing protocol used in most crime laboratories does not capture the chemical signatures of marijuana evidence that can differentiate the varieties and sources of marijuana grown under different conditions or from different regions. Medical or legal marijuana may be diverted from its intended use and consumed by people without a legal prescription. An ideal forensic analysis of marijuana evidence should not only confirm the presence of major cannabinoids in the evidence, but also determine the variety or source of marijuana. The current project found that the HHS-SPME extraction procedure for headspace chemical analysis of marijuana evidence is rapid, efficient, and cost-effective. 2 tables, 2 figures, and 16 references
Date Created: August 12, 2018