Herbal smoking blends, available on the German market were analyzed and several known synthetic cannabinoids were identified (JWH-122 and JWH-018). In addition, we isolated a new active ingredient by silica gel column chromatography and elucidated the structure by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods. The compound was identified as JWH-307, a synthetic cannabinoid of the phenyl-pyrrole subclass with known in vitro binding affinities for cannabinoid receptors. To date, this is the first appearance of this subclass of cannabimimetics in such products. JWH-307 has been further characterized by gas chromatography accurate mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS), electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS), ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) spectroscopy. JWH-018 was among the first compounds banned by many countries world-wide including Germany. The identification of JWH-018 was striking, since this is the first report where JWH-018 recurred on the German market thus violating existing laws. A generic method was established to quantify synthetic cannabinoids in herbal smoking blends. Quantification was achieved using an isotopically labeled standard (JWH-018-D(3). JWH-018 was found at a level of 150 mg/g while JH-122 and JWH307 occurred as a mixture at a total level of 232 mg/g.
Synthetic cannabinoids. – Any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that is not listed as a controlled substance in Schedule II through VI, is not an FDA approved drug, and contains any quantity of the following substances, their salts, isomers (whether optical, positional, or geometric), homologues, and salts of isomers and homologues, unless specifically excepted, whenever the existence of these salts, isomers, homologues, and salts of isomers and homologues is possible within any of the specific chemical designations listed below in this subdivision: