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5F-Cumyl-PINACA in 'e-liquids' for electronic cigarettes: comprehensive characterization of a new type of synthetic cannabinoid in a trendy product including investigations on the in vitro and in vivo phase I metabolism of 5F-Cumyl-PINACA and its non-fluorinated analog Cumyl-PINACA

Verena Angerer, Florian Franz, Björn Moosmann, Philippe Bisel & Volker Auwärter

abstract

Purpose
In recent years e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes have become an attractive alternative to smoking tobacco. A new trend is the use of e-liquids containing synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) instead of smoking cannabis or herbal mixtures laced with SCs. In the frame of a systematic monitoring of the online market of 'legal high' products, e-liquids from online retailers who also sell herbal blends were bought.

Methods
The products were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. In some of the e-liquids an unknown compound was detected which was identified as the SC 5F-Cumyl-PINACA (1-(5-fluoropentyl)--(2-phenylpropan-2-yl)-1-indazole-3-carboxamide)  by nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. To investigate the phase I metabolism of this new class of compounds, 5F-Cumyl-PINACA and its non-fluorinated analog Cumyl-PINACA were incubated with pooled human liver microsomes (pHLM). Cumyl-PINACA was additionally ingested orally (0.6 mg) by a volunteer in a controlled self-experiment. To assess the relative potency of Cumyl-PINACA a set of SCs were characterized using a cAMP assay.

Results
Metabolism of 5F-Cumyl-PINACA and Cumyl-PINACA showed similarities with AM-2201 and JWH-018. The main metabolites were formed by hydroxylation at the -pentyl side chain. The main metabolites detected in the volunteer's urine sample were the same as in the pHLM assay. All SCs tested with the cAMP assay were full agonists at the CB receptor. Cumyl-PINACA was the most potent SC among the tested compounds and showed an EC value of 0.06 nM.

Conclusions
The increasing popularity of e-liquids particularly among young people, and the extreme potency of the added SCs, pose a serious threat to public health. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the tentative identification of human in vivo metabolites of Cumyl-PINACA and 5F-Cumyl-PINACA.
   
citation Angerer V, Franz F, Moosmann B, Bisel P, Auwärter V. 5F-Cumyl-PINACA in 'e-liquids' for electronic cigarettes: comprehensive characterization of a new type of synthetic cannabinoid in a trendy product including investigations on the in vitro and in vivo phase I metabolism of 5F-Cumyl-PINACA and its non-fluorinated analog Cumyl-PINACA. Forensic Toxicol 2018; 37:186-196.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 13-11-2018
journal title Forensic Toxicol (37/1)
ISSN print 1860-8965
pages 186-196
PubMed 30636986
DOI 10.1007/s11419-018-0451-8