Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in oral fluid (OF) implies cannabis intake, but eliminating passive exposure and improving interpretation of test results requires additional research.
Ten adult cannabis users smoked ad libitum one 6.8% THC cigarette. Expectorated OF was collected for up to 22h, and analyzed within 24 h of collection. THC, 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THCCOOH), cannabidiol, and cannabinol were quantified by 2-dimensional-GCMS.
Eighty specimens were analyzed; 6 could not be collected due to dry mouth. THC was quantifiable in 95.2%, cannabidiol in 69.3%, cannabinol in 62.3%, and THCCOOH in 94.7% of specimens. Highest THC, cannabidiol, and cannabinol concentrations were 22370, 1000, and 1964 μg/l, respectively, 0.25 h after the start of smoking; THCCOOH peaked within 2 h (up to 560 ng/l). Concentrations 6h after smoking were THC (0.9-90.4 μg/l) and THCCOOH (17.0-151 ng/l) (8 of 9 positive for both); only 4 were positive for cannabidiol (0.5-2.4 μg/l) and cannabinol (1.0-3.0 μg/l). By 22h, there were 4 THC (0.4-10.3 μg/l), 5 THCCOOH (6.0-24.0 ng/l), 1 cannabidiol (0.3 μg/l), and no cannabinol positive specimens.
THCCOOH in OF suggests no passive contamination, and CBD and CBN suggest recent cannabis smoking. Seventeen alternative cutoffs were evaluated to meet the needs of different drug testing programs.
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