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Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 9;9(1):18587. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-55151-5.

Surface Detection of THC Attributable to Vaporizer Use in the Indoor Environment.

Author information

1
iC42 Integrated Solutions in Systems Biology for Clinical Research & Development, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
2
Department of Orthopedics, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
3
National Jewish Health and University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO, USA.
4
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
5
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
6
Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
7
Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
8
Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA. Greg.Kinney@UCDenver.edu.

Abstract

The number of cannabis users increased up to 188 million users worldwide in 2017. Smoking and vaping are the most common consumption routes with formation of side-stream smoke/vapor and secondhand exposure to cannabinoids has been described in the literature. External contamination of hair by cannabis smoke has been studied but there are no studies on third-hand cannabis exposure due to deposition of smoke or vapor on surfaces. We tested whether cannabinoids could be detected on surfaces and objects in a room where cannabis is vaporized. Surface samples were collected using isopropanol imbued non-woven wipes from hard surfaces and objects. Each surface was swabbed three times with standardized swabbing protocol including three different patterns. Samples were analyzed using LC-ESI-MS/MS in combination with online extraction. THC was detected on 6 samples out of the 15 collected in the study room at quantifiable levels ranging 348-4882 ng/m2. Negative control samples collected from areas outside the study room were all negative. We demonstrated that surfaces exposed to side-stream cannabis vapor are positive for THC at quantifiable levels. This study represents a first step in understanding how side-stream cannabis vapor deposits in the environment and potentially results in a tertiary exposure for users and non-users.

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