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XLR 11 - Drug Analysis

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Nicole Gallo

on 21 April 2015

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Transcript of XLR 11 - Drug Analysis

The purity of XLR 11 varies greatly due to clandestine production
Dosage and Usage
Clandestinely produced as a designer drug that mimics effects of marijuana that is sprayed onto herbal product (up to 4x more potent than marijuana)
No medicinal or industrial use
Sold as a legal alternative to marijuana
Advertised as a herbal incense, potpourri or a spice product (K2 and Spice)
Product is than smoked via either a blunt or water pipe
Sold in head shops and online
Between $5-10/gram
Became popular due to their psychoactive affects
Sold commonly in foil packaging
System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evidence (STRIDE) and the National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) reports over 7200 cases of XLR II in 2012
Schedule 1 drug

April 21 2015
Nicole Gallo and Amelia Voorhees
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Origin and History
Synthetic cannabinoid created in order to avoid regulations and laws regarding marijuana
Chemically dissimilar to marijuana but produced similar effects (euphoria)
Similar synthetic cannabinoids include: JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-370, HU-210, CP 47,487, AM-1248
Chronic use/abuse may lead to addiction and withdrawal
Dangerous and unpredictable due to irregularities in purity
Synthetic cannabinoids have been to induce psychosis, may prolong psychosis, cause a worsening of previous psychosis and may trigger chronic psychosis disorder
Some packaging is labeled “Not for human consumption”
XLR 11
Synthetic Cannabinoid

The synthetic cannabinoids were first developed in research laboratories in order to study neuronal receptors throughout the body
Began around 1979-1980
Developed for analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, but realized more potent
It is believed that the first illegal synthetic cannabinoid was developed from a research article by John W. Huffman, PhD. who first made JWH-018
Started its popularity in Europe in 2004
Gained popularity in USA and Canada in 2009
Was not until 2010 that Redwood Laboratories and NMS laboratory announced a detection method for five common synthetics in urine
First reported in scientific literature by Frost et al. in 2010
Chemical Structure
Herbal product
Δ9- THC-like activity
In vitro studies show that XLR II binds to brain cannabinoid receptor as a potent agonist (CB1/CB2)
Poorly understood
Never studied on humans
Underwent both phase I and II metabolism with more than 25 metabolites
May stay in a person’s system for up to 3 days
72 hours in urine
24/48 hours in saliva
Additional Effects
Impact on Forensic Community
XLR 11 and other synthetic cannibinoids are constantly changing and increasing, making it hard for forensic community to keep up with analysis and detection techniques
Law enforcement struggles with laws and regulations of these synthetic drugs
Samples often grouped according to brand names and packaging
But possible to be dissimilar products within same group
Need to apply visual inspection for homogenousity
Products typically in concentration between 1-30 mg/g
Color tests usually not applicable due to low sensitivity
Screening Method - ELISA
Extraction used for chromatic analysis
Not needed for direct MS applications
Qualitative analysis usually performed with GCMS and TLC
Does not cause a positive result using standard cannabis methods with GCMS
Can use FTIR
Challenges: Not all variations of the product have been identified and the purity varies

A Wohlfarth, S. P. (2013). First metabolic profile of XLR-11, a novel synthetic cannabinoid, obtained by using human hepatocytes and high-resolution mass spectrometry. NCBI.
Administration, D. E. (2013). Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Three Synthetic Cannabinoids Into Schedule I . Deptartment of Justice: Office of Diversion Control .
Birkenshaw, D. (n.d.). Information on the Synthetics that are being sold . Narconon International .
Crime, U. N. (2013). Recommended methods for the Identification and Analysis of Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agaonsits in Seized Materials. UNODC.
Drug Enforcement Administration, O. o. (2013). UR-144 (TCMP-018; KM-X1) and XLR11 (5-UR-144). Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control .
Duncan, G. (n.d.). Comprehensive Drug Information on Synthetic Cannabinoids- "Spice" and "k2". Hunterdon Drug Awareness Program.
Lauber, G. J. (2014). Use of Toxicology Reports in the Defense of Drug and Alcohol Cases. Sansone Lauber.
Santos, A. G. (2013). Synthetic Drug Trafficking & Abuse Trends. Pharmacy Diversion Awareness Conference (PDAC).

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