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Publication Title | Detection of Marijuana Use by Oral Fluid and Urine Analysis Following Single-Dose Administration of Smoked and Oral Marijuana

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Search Completed | Title | Detection of Marijuana Use by Oral Fluid and Urine Analysis Following Single-Dose Administration of Smoked and Oral Marijuana
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J o u r n a l o f A n a l y t i c a l To x i c o l o g y, Vo l . 2 5 , J u l y / A u g u s t 2 0 0 1

Detection of Marijuana Use by Oral Fluid and Urine Analysis Following Single-Dose Administration of Smoked and Oral Marijuana

R . S a m N i e d b a l a * , K e i t h W. K a r d o s , D e a n F . F r i t c h , S t e p h a n i e K a r d o s , T i f f a n y F r i e s , a n d J o e W a g a OraSure Technologies, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

James Robb

LabOne, Inc., Lenexa, Kansas

Edward J. Cone

ConeChem Research, LLC, Severna Park, Maryland

Ab s t r a c t

We compared oral fluid testing to urine testing in subjects who were administered single doses of marijuana by smoked and oral routes. Oral fluid specimens were collected with the Intercept DOA Oral Specimen Collection Device, screened for THC with the Cannabinoids Intercept MICRO-PLATE Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) utilizing a 1.0-ng/mL cutoff concentration, and confirmed for THC by gas chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (GC–MS–MS) with a 0.5-ng/mL cutoff concentration.

Urine specimens were screened for 11-nor-carboxy- 9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THCCOOH) by immunoassay utilizing a 50-ng/mL cutoff concentration and confirmed for THCCOOH by GC–MS with a 15-ng/mL cutoff concentration. Oral fluid specimens tested positive following smoked marijuana ( N = 10) consecutively for average periods ( SEM; range) of 15 ( 2; 1–24) and 13 h ( 3; 1–24) by EIA and GC–MS–MS, respectively. The average THC detection times of the last oral fluid positive specimen following smoked marijuana by EIA and GC–MS–MS were 31 ( 9; 1–72) and 34 h ( 11; 1–72), respectively. In comparison to oral fluid, urine specimens generally tested

negative for THCCOOH immediately after marijuana use. The average times to detection of the first urine specimen positive for THCCOOH by EIA and GC–MS were 6 ( 2; 1–16) and 4 h ( 1; 2–8), respectively. Urine specimens tested positive consecutively for average periods of 26 ( 9; 2–72) and 33 h ( 10; 4–72) for EIA and GC–MS, respectively. The average THCCOOH detection times of the last specimen by EIA and GC–MS were 42 ( 10; 2–72) and 58 h ( 6; 16–72), respectively. Considering the non- invasive nature of oral fluid collection and improved detection of recent marijuana use compared to urine testing, it was concluded that oral fluid testing for THC offers specific advantages over other means of marijuana testing when used in safety-sensitive testing programs.

* Authortowhomreprintrequestsshouldbeaddressed.R.SamNiedbala,Ph.D.,OraSure Technologies, Inc., 150 Webster Street, Bethlehem, PA, 18015-1389. E-mail:

s n i e d b a l a @ o r a s u r e . c o m.

I nt r oduc t i on

D r u g t e s t i n g p r o v i d e s o b j e c t i v e i n f o r ma t i o n re g a r d i n g a n i n d i - v i d u a l ’ s r e c e n t u s e o r e x p o s u r e t o i l l i c i t d r u g s . A l t h o u g h u r i ne i s the body fluid most commonly collected and tested in workplace d r u g - t e s t i n g p r o g r a m s , a d v a n c e s i n t h e u s e o f o t he r t y p e s o f b i o - logical specimens has accelerated over the last decade. Progress in the development of alternate matrices for drug testing p r o m p t e d t he S u b s t a nc e A b u s e a nd M e n t a l H e a l t h S e r v i c e s Administration (SAMHSA) in the United States to draft guide- l i n e s f o r t h e us e o f o r a l f l u i d , s w e a t , a n d h a i r i n f e d e r a l l y r e g u - l a t e d w o r k p l a c e d r u g - t e s t i n g p r o g r a m s ( 1 ) . P r e s u m a b l y, adoption of these guidelines will lead to implementation of their use in regulated workplace drug-testing programs, and their use in non-regulated drug-testing programs will likely expand.

D r ug t e s t i n g of o r a l f l ui d of f e r s t h e a d va nt a ge o v er u r i n e i n being a less-invasive collection process. Also, compared with urine, sweat, or hair, a positive result from an oral fluid test can be interpreted with greater confidence as being attributable to v e r y r e c e n t d r ug u s e , t h a t i s , g e ne r a l l y w i t h i n 2 4 h , a n d n o t t he consequence of drug use that occurred days to weeks earlier. T h e s e p r o p e r t i e s o f o r a l f l u i d m a k e i t a n a t t r a c t i v e a l t e r na t i v e t o urine testing for use in workplace drug-testing programs and for detection of drugged drivers.

Oral fluid is a mixture of saliva, gingival crevicular fluid, cel- lular debris, and other components (2). Drugs may appear in oral fluid via multiple pathways. The predominant modes for e n t r y i n t o o r a l f l ui d f o r m o s t d r u g s a r e e x c r e t i o n v i a s a l i v a f r o m blood and direct deposition in the oral cavity during oral, intranasal, and smoked administration. For marijuana, the pri- ma r y r o u t e o f d r u g e n t r y i n t o o r a l f l u i d a p p e a r s t o b e d i r e c t deposition during use. Commonly, marijuana is smoked, but it m a y a l s o b e c o n s u m e d o r a l l y, u s u a l l y m i x e d w i t h f o o d p r o d u c t s ( e . g . , b r o w n i e s ) . R e s i d u e s o f ∆ 9 - t e t r a h y d r o c a nn a b i n o l ( T H C ) a r e s e q u e s t e r e d i n o r al t i s s ue a n d a p p ea r i n o r a l f l u i d ( 3 – 7 ) . T h e

R e pr o d u c t i o n ( ph o t o c op y i ng ) of e di t or i a l c o nt e n t

o f

t h i s

j o u r n a l i s p r oh i b i t e d w i t ho u t pu b l i s h e r ’s p e r m i s s i o n . 2 8 9

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