Smoked cannabis and doping control: looking for the wrong target analyte?


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Smoked cannabis and doping control: looking for the wrong target analyte?
Title of the conference
Annales de toxicologie analytique
Brenneisen R., Meyer P., Chtioui H., Saugy M., Schweizer C., Kamber M.
EDP Sciences S.A.
Société Française de Toxicologie Analytique
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Goullé Jean-Pierre
Oral présentations : 051
Introduction: Since 2004, cannabis is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for all sports in competition. In the years since then, about half of all positive doping cases in Switzerland have been related to cannabis consumption. In most cases, the athletes plausibly claim to have consumed cannabis several days or even weeks before competition and only for recreational purposes not related to competition. In doping analysis, the target analyte in urine samples is 11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol- 9-carboxylic acid (THC-COOH), the reporting threshold for laboratories is 15 ng/mL. However, the wide detection window of this long-term THC metabolite in urine does not allow a conclusion concerning the time of consumption or the impact on the physical performance.
Aim: The purpose of the present pharmacokinetic study on volunteers was to evaluate target analytes with shorter urinary excretion time. Subsequently, urines from athletes tested positive for cannabis should be reanalyzed including these analytes. Methods: In an one-session clinical trial (approved by IRB, Swissmedic, and Federal Office of Public Health), 12 healthy, male volunteers (age 26 ± 3 yrs, BMI 24 ± 2 kg/m2) with cannabis experience (> once/month) smoked a Cannabis cigarette standardized to 70 mg THC/cigarette (Bedrobinol® 7%, Dutch Office for Medicinal Cannabis) following a paced-puffing procedure. Plasma and urine was collected up to 8 h and 11 days, respectively. Total THC, 11-hydroxy-THC (THC-OH), and THC-COOH were determined after enzymatic hydrolyzation followed by SPE and GC/MS-SIM. The limit of quantitation (LOQ) for all analytes was 0.1 ng/mL. Visual analog scales (VAS) and vital functions were used for monitoring psychological and somatic side-effects at every timepoint of specimen collection (up to 480 min).
Results: Eight puffs delivered a mean THC dose of 45 mg. Mean plasma levels of total THC, THC-OH and THC-COOH were measured in the range of 0.1-20.9, 0.1-1.8, and 1.8-7.5 ng/mL, respectively. Peak concentrations were observed at 5, 10, and 90 min. Mean urine levels were measured in the range of 0.1-0.7, 0.10-6.2, and 0.1-13.4 ng/mL, respectively. The detection windows were 2-8, 2-96, and 2-120 h. No or only mild effects were observed, such as dry mouth, sedation, and tachycardia. Besides high to very high THC-COOH levels (0-978 ng/mL), THC (0.1-24 ng/mL) and THC-OH (1-234 ng/mL) were found in 90 and 96% of the cannabis-positive urines from athletes.
Conclusion: Instead of or in addition to THC-COOH, the pharmacologically active THC and THC-OH should be the target analytes for doping urine analysis. This would allow the estimation of more recent Cannabis consumption, probably influencing performance during competition.
Keywords: cannabis, doping, clinical trial, plasma and urine levels, athlete's samples
cannabis, doping, clinical trial, plasma and urine levels, athlete's sample
Create date
16/02/2010 17:11
Last modification date
20/08/2019 14:23
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