Cannabinoids determination in oral fluid by SPME-GC/MS and UHPLC-MS/MS and its application on suspected drivers

Luca Anzillotti, Erika Castrignanò, Sabina Strano Rossi, Marcello Chiarotti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

23 Citazioni (Scopus)


The confirmation of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in oral fluid (OF) is an important issue for assessing Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID). The aim of this research was to develop a highly sensitive method with minimal sample pre-treatment suitable for the analysis of small OF volumes (100 μL) for the confirmation of cannabinoids in DUID cases. Two methods were compared for the confirmation of THC in residual OF samples, obtained from a preliminary on-site screening with commercial devices. An ultra high performance LC-MS (UHPLC-MS/MS) method and an SPME-GC/MS method were hence developed. 100 μL of the residual mixture OF/preservative buffer or neat OF was simply added to 10 μL of THC-D3 (1 μg/mL) and submitted to the two different analyses: A - direct injection of 10 μL in UHPLC-MS/MS in positive electrospray ionisation (ESI) mode and B - sampling for 30 min with SPME (100 μm polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS fibre) and direct injection by desorption of the fibre in the GC injection port. The lowest limit of detection (LLOD) of THC was 2 ng/mL in UHPLC-MS/MS and 0.5 ng/mL in SPME-GC/MS. In addition, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) could be detected in GC/MS equipment at 2 ng/mL, whilst in UHPLC-MS/MS the LLOD was 20 ng/mL. Both methods were applied to 70 samples coming from roadside tests. By SPME-GC/MS analysis, THC was confirmed in 42 samples, whilst CBD was detected in 21 of them, along with CBN in 14 samples. THC concentrations ranged from traces below the lowest limit of quantification or LLOQ (2 ng/mL) up to 690 ng/mL.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)421-426
Numero di pagine6
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014


  • Automobile Driving
  • Cannabidiol
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabinol
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Limit of Detection
  • Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Oral fluid
  • Saliva
  • Solid Phase Microextraction
  • Solid phase microextraction
  • Substance Abuse Detection
  • Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol


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