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J Anal Toxicol. 2006 Sep;30(7):413-8.

Detection of the marijuana metabolite 11-nor-Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid in oral fluid specimens and its contribution to positive results in screening assays.

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Immunalysis Corporation, 829 Towne Center Drive, Pomona, California 91767, USA.


The detection of the marijuana metabolite 11-nor-Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (THC-COOH) in oral fluid specimens is described, and its contribution to an immunoassay for the detection of cannabinoids is investigated. Oral fluid specimens, screened using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent immunoassay (ELISA), were carried forward to confirmation for both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and THC-COOH using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). One hundred and fifty-three specimens were analyzed, of which 143 screened positive for cannabinoids. Ninety-five (66.4%) of these specimens were positive for both THC and THC-COOH; 14 (9.7%) were positive for THC-COOH only, and 27 (18.8%) were positive for THC only. The GC-MS assay for the detection of THC-COOH in oral fluid was linear to 160 pg/mL with a limit of quantitation of 2 pg/mL. The detection of the marijuana metabolite, THC-COOH, in 76.2% of oral fluid specimens screening positive for cannabinoids is reported. As a potential defense against passive exposure claims, proposed SAMHSA regulations may require the simultaneous collection of a urine sample when oral fluid samples are used. The detection of the metabolite, THC-COOH, is a significant alternative to this approach because its presence in oral fluid minimizes the argument for passive exposure to marijuana in drug testing cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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