Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The game is afoot!

Upon review of some literature , I ran across a few synthetic cannabinoids that I did not know existed. The existence of these substances (and pretty much any synthetic cannabinoid since 2011) simply shows that the chemistry games continue and as such, I see no real end game. These substances are not banned in any state of the USA that I know and they are not explicitly banned by the US Federal government, but the substances may fall under the Analogue Enforcement Act.


AB-CHMINACA is a cyclohexyl-substituted derivative of AB-FUBINACA.

XLR12 is trifluorobutyl derivative of the earlier generation XLR11, which consisted of a 5-fluorinated pentyl alkyl chain.

The remaining two compounds are interesting as they are a hodgepodge of moieties from earlier generation compounds.

JWH-018 8-quinolinyl carboxamide consists of a pentylindole structure of JWH-018, but with a replacement of the napthalene group with an 8-quinolinyl carboxamide subgroup. The carboxamide group can be found in recently scheduled substances, AB-FUBINACA and ADB-PINACA, as well as numerous other cannabinoids. The carboxamide group is designated by the CA lettering scheme. The 8-quinolinyl group can be found in the recently scheduled PB-22 and 5F-PB-22.

FUB-144 is a 4-fluorobenzyl derivative of the earlier generation UR-144. The fluorobenzyl group can also be seen in previously mentioned compounds, AB-FUBINACA, ADB-FUBINACA, FDU-PB-22, and FUB-PB-22. In each of those alphabet soup names, the fluorobenzyl group is designated by the FUB lettering scheme.

I have mentioned previously that while these structural changes are common sense from the manufacturer's perspective as they evade strict legislation banning compounds, they are a nightmare from the user's viewpoint. Pharmacological or toxicological properties of these substances are not known. Are the substances CB1 or CB2 agonists? Do they have downstream effects? What are the effects from acute consumption? What are the effects from chronic consumption? How is the substance metabolized? Are metabolites pharmacologically active? Are there any degradation products from the pyrolysis process during the act of smoking? Are those degradants pharmacologically active? How is the substance excreted? What is the dose of the cannabinoid being consumed? So many unknowns!

The variety of compounds also makes my job challenging and sometimes downright frustrating, but as Sherlock said, "The game is afoot!".

As always, stay safe out there.

Cheers,

ForensicToxGuy

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