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Forensic Sci Int. 2013 Oct 10;232(1-3):e24-7. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2013.08.014. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Chemical profiling of different hashish seizures by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and statistical methodology: a case report.

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Institut de Police Scientifique, School of Criminal Sciences, Batochime, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne-Dorigny, Switzerland.


Limited information is available regarding the methodology required to characterize hashish seizures for assessing the presence or the absence of a chemical link between two seizures. This casework report presents the methodology applied for assessing that two different police seizures were coming from the same block before this latter one was split. The chemical signature was extracted using GC-MS analysis and the implemented methodology consists in a study of intra- and inter-variability distributions based on the measurement of the chemical profiles similarity using a number of hashish seizures and the calculation of the Pearson correlation coefficient. Different statistical scenarios (i.e., a combination of data pretreatment techniques and selection of target compounds) were tested to find the most discriminating one. Seven compounds showing high discrimination capabilities were selected on which a specific statistical data pretreatment was applied. Based on the results, the statistical model built for comparing the hashish seizures leads to low error rates. Therefore, the implemented methodology is suitable for the chemical profiling of hashish seizures.


Cannabis; Cannabis resin; Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry; Illicit drugs chemical profiling; Similarity measures

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