Presented September 16, 2010 by Dr. Barry K. Logan, PhD, DABFT, NMS Labs National Director of Forensic Services
NMS Labs has responded to the recent explosive growth in popularity of synthetic cannabinoid agonists in so-called “herbal blends” by developing new tests for the active chemicals in botanical material, and most recently for the parent drugs and their metabolites in blood and urine. This presentation describes the history and origin of the chemicals of concern, the composition of the various commercial products containing them, their known pharmacology, and the documented effects on drivers, and human test subjects. We also review the adverse effects that have resulted in hospitalization, and even allegedly in deaths. This presentation describes the challenges around providing a chemical test for these new drugs, information on their stability in biological fluids, and the validation of quantitative methods for their determination.