A New Urine Test Could Help Curtail the Use of the Latest Synthetic Cannabinoids to Enter the Drug Scene

Findings published in AACC’s today Clinical Chemistry diary

WASHINGTON, September 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A unique study published today in AACC’s Clinical Chemistry Journal shows a novel drug test detects a new class of synthetic cannabinoids called OXICIDs. This test could allow drug law enforcement agencies to identify OXICIDE users and could play a crucial role in efforts to stop the spread of these drugs.

(PRNews photo/AACC)

View the full study here: https://doi.org/10.1093/clinchem/hvac138

Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made drugs that have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is largely due to the fact that new synthetic cannabinoids are constantly emerging, making it difficult for law enforcement to keep up with the identification and classification of these drugs as illegal. Despite the fact that people use these drugs as legal alternatives to marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids can actually be more dangerous than marijuana and have been known to cause psychosis, seizures, and even stroke. It is imperative that drug law enforcement agencies be able to test for these drugs as tracking their use is one of the keys to curbing them.

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OXICIDES are one of the newest classes of synthetic cannabinoids to enter the drug scene, and little is currently known about how to recognize them. A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore set out to develop a urine test for these drugs. Led by Eric Chun Yong Chan, PhD, the team first incubated human liver microsomes with four different OXICIDEs to get a first idea of ​​what metabolites are produced when the human body breaks down these drugs. From this, the researchers identified 42 to 51 metabolites for each of the OXICIDEs.

As a next step, Chan’s team tested four urine samples from known OXICIDE users for both the parent substances and these metabolites. In the samples, the researchers discovered the parent OXICIDEs, known as BZO-HEXOXIDE, BZO-POXICIDE, and 5F-BZO-POXICIDE, along with theirs NAlkyl and phenyl monohydroxylated metabolites. This demonstrates that these compounds can be used together in a urinary drug panel to conduct routine monitoring for OXICIDE abuse. In addition, it is important to note that the urinary metabolites were present at higher concentrations than the parent compounds, demonstrating the need to include these metabolites in a drug test for OXICIDEs.

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“In summary, the ever-evolving drug abuse scene calls for immediate interventions to prevent emerging illicit drugs from escalating into a state of frenzy,” Chan said. “A detailed understanding of their metabolic profiles will make it easier for drug agencies to identify their offenders based on urine biomarkers. Crucially, the parent substances and monohydroxylated metabolites have been identified… [and 5F-BZO-POXIZID] for routine screening efforts to diagnose their use and curb their abuse.”

About AACC Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, AACC brings together more than 70,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, researchers and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, laboratory management and other areas of advancing laboratory science . Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field by providing programs that foster scholarly collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit www.aacc.org.

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Clinical Chemistry (clinchem.org) is the leading international journal of laboratory medicine, publishing nearly 400 peer-reviewed studies each year that help patients receive accurate diagnoses and the care they need. This vital research is advancing areas of public health ranging from genetic testing and pharmacovigilance to pediatrics and appropriate test use.

Christine DeLong AACC Senior Manager, Communications & PR (p) 202.835.8722 [email protected]

Molly Poland AACC Senior Director, Communications & PR (p) 202.420.7612 (c) 703.598.0472 [email protected]

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