Release Date: Nov 2017
CC: PC, MK, PBL
Roger L. Bertholf, PhD
Director of Clinical Chemistry, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX
Illicit marijuana use can be difficult to detect because the psychoactive component, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is both very potent and rapidly metabolized. Therefore, metabolites are present in very low concentrations that challenge the detection limits of many analytical methods. Several analytical methods have been applied to detection of cannabinoids, including immunoassay and chromatography/mass spectrometry. In forensic and workplace drug testing, urine is the most common matrix for detection of cannabinoids, but a number of alternate specimens, such as hair and oral fluid, have been proposed. Each of these specimen types has unique advantages and limitations. Recently, several states have legalized marijuana use for medical, and, in some states, recreational use. In places where marijuana use is legal, the analytical challenge may shift from detecting use of the drug, to detecting intoxication, which is a fundamentally different question. In this course we will examine the evidence relating THC concentrations with cognitive and physical impairment associated with marijuana use.
After attending this session, participants will be able to:
· Describe the analytical technologies used to detect THC in biological specimens.
· Compare the benefits and limitations of various specimens for THC analysis.
· Discuss the ways that THC testing is affected by marijuana legalization
Who should attend? Practicing Pathologists, Residents, Doctoral Scientists, Laboratory Managers, Bench Supervisors, Bench Technologists & Technicians, Students