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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2017 Jul-Aug;49(3):175-181. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2017.1290304. Epub 2017 Mar 7.

The Blue Lotus Flower (Nymphea caerulea) Resin Used in a New Type of Electronic Cigarette, the Re-Buildable Dripping Atomizer.

Author information

1
a Science II, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology , Virginia Commonwealth University , Richmond , VA , USA.
2
b Graduate Student, Department of Forensic Science , Virginia Commonwealth University , Richmond , VA , USA.
3
c Assistant Professor, School of Pharmacy , Virginia Commonwealth University , Richmond , VA , USA.
4
d Assistant Professor, Departments of Pathology and Forensic Science , Virginia Commonwealth University , Richmond , VA , USA.
5
e Professor, Departments of Pathology, Pharmacology and Toxicology and Forensic Science , Virginia Commonwealth University , Richmond , VA , USA.
6
f Associate Chair, Department of Forensic Science , Virginia Commonwealth University , Richmond , VA , USA.

Abstract

The blue lotus flower (Nymphea caerulea) is an Egyptian water lily containing apomorphine and nuciferine. Apomorphine has been described as a psychoactive alkaloid and is a non-selective dopamine agonist primarily used to treat Parkinson's disease as it stimulates dopamine receptors and improves motor function. Nuciferine is an alkaloid associated with dopamine receptor blockade. Today, blue lotus flower is used as a sleep aid and anxiety reliever. The rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA) is an electronic cigarette that allows direct application of an e-liquid onto the coil in the atomizer for aerosolization, compared to a typical electronic cigarette where the e-liquid is wicked from a storage vessel to the coil. Our laboratory received a dark-brown resin material from a concerned parent. The resin had been confiscated from an adolescent who had a reported history of marijuana use. The resin was later identified as blue lotus flower (N. caerulea). This resin, together with four commercially available blue lotus products, was analyzed for content. Apomorphine was detected in two samples, and nuciferine was detected in all five samples. The confiscated resin was determined to contain no apomorphine and 4300 ng/g of nuciferine. The nuciferine resin was shown to aerosolize using aRDA electric cigarette.

KEYWORDS:

Apomorphine; blue lotus flower; electronic cigarette; nuciferine

PMID:
28266899
PMCID:
PMC5638439
DOI:
10.1080/02791072.2017.1290304
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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