(Received 16 October 1991; accepted 18 November 1991)
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A new procedure for the simultaneous detection of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its major metabolite, 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH) in serum has been evaluated. The method combines rapid, efficient, solid-phase extraction and simple derivatization by methylation. Analysis and quantitation is performed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) using deuterated cannabinoids as internal standards (IS). Reproducibility and sensitivity of the method are good.
The procedure is applied to serum specimens collected from a smoking study with 24 volunteers and 212 forensic cases. Results are interpreted based upon the current knowledge about THC metabolism and pharmacokinetics.
Professor, Institute of Legal Medicine, State University of Saarland, Homburg,
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