Alphabet Soup Or The Newer Synthetic Cannabinoids

It seems as if the early compounds were the easiest to identify by name as they were series compounds (i.e. JWH-xxx or AM-xxxx).  Now we have what I like to call the alphabet soup compounds…

AB-PINACA, 5F-AB-PINACA, AB-FUBINACA
ADB-PINACA, 5F-ADB-PINACA, ADB-FUBINACA
FUB-PB-22 and FDU-PB-22
THJ and 5F-THJ
………
Here are chemical structures of these compounds:
Now it seems as if we are mixing and matching various structural groups at an increasing rate…indoles, indazoles, hydroxyquinolines, aminoquinolines, hydroxynaphthoyls, isopropyl groups, tert-butyl groups, halogens, alkyl chains…a chemist’s dream.
Also, a nightmare…keep in mind that no one knows what the actual pharmacological or toxicological properties of these drugs are. Do these substances act on only cannabinoid receptor? What downstream effects occur? What are short term and long term effects of use? How are these substances metabolized? What are the prominent metabolites? Do the metabolites have pharmacological activity?
The CDC released case studies through Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) in February 2013 and November 2013 regarding significant injury and illnesses resulting from use of some synthetic cannabinoid-containing products. The February information included the detection of the cyclopropylindole cannabinoid, XLR-11, and associated it with acute kidney injury in a series of patients in various locations. The November information included the detection of ADB-PINACA in the blood of five patients admitted to the hospital in Georgia.
We’ll see if any of these compounds become prevalent in herbal blends and products. Unfortunately, the truth is that we won’t know about their true prevalence until we see their adverse effects, which may be as presentations to a hospital's emergency department or analyses during postmortem toxicology.  And then, it’s too late.
Be safe out there.

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