Monday, September 11, 2017

Synthetic cannabinoid FUB-AMB to be placed into Schedule I

The DEA announced today a notice of intent to place the synthetic cannabinoid FUB-AMB into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

The chemical formula of FUB-AMB is C21H22FN3O3 and molecular weight is 383.42 g/mol. Alternative alphabet soup names for this substances include AMB-FUBINACA and MMB-FUBINACA. FUB-AMB emerged as a substance in herbal incense and smokable potpourri blends in the USA sometime between 2014-2016. FUB-AMB is structurally related to the Pfizer developed synthetic cannabinoid AB-FUBINACA. In 2016, Banister et al. reported on the pharmacology of FUB-AMB and structurally related compounds. They determined FUB-AMB to be a potent synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist. In the study, FUB-AMB's half maximal effective concentration or EC50 at CB1 equaled 2.0 nM and 18 nM at CB2.

Image taken by Kevin G. Shanks (2017)

A "mass casualty event" in Brooklyn, New York occurred on July 12, 2016, when thirty three (33) people reported adverse effects after smoking an herbal incense product. Eighteen (18) of the 33 people were hospitalized. Adams et al. reported on this outbreak of illnesses in The New England Journal of Medicine on January 2017. Common reported effects included blank stares, slow responses, "zombielike" groaning, slow mechanical movements of the arms and legs, and lethargy. Blood, serum, and urine specimens were obtained from eight (8) of the people who were admitted to the hospital. The authors also analyzed a package of the product purported to be at the center of the mass illnesses - AK-47 24 Karat Gold. FUB-AMB was detected in the product. An FUB-AMB metabolite was detected in the blood or serum of all patients tested.

This act makes 33 synthetic cannabinoids scheduled at the federal level since 2011.

One more synthetic cannabinoid scheduled, one more to take its place.

The beat goes on...


United States DEA (2017) Notice of Intent. Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of FUB-AMB into Schedule I. Federal Register. Volume 82, Number 174.

S.D. Banister et al. (2016) Pharmacology of Valinate and tert-Leucinate Synthetic Cannabinoids 5F-AMBICA, 5F-AMB, 5F-ADB, AMB-FUBINACA, MDMB-FUBINACA, MDMB-CHMICA, and Their Analogues. ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 7: 1241-1254.

A.J. Adams et al. (2017) Zombie Outbreak Caused by the Synthetic Cannabinoid AMB-FUBINACA in New York. The New England Journal of Medicine. 376: 235-242.

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