According to the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the use of cannabinoids is forbidden in competition. In doping controls, the detection of cannabinoid misuse is based on the analysis of the non-psychoactive metabolite 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (carboxy-THC). The determination of values greater than 15 ng/mL in urine represents an adverse analytical finding; however, no accurate prediction of the time of application is possible as the half-life of carboxy-THC ranges between three and four days. Consequently the detection of carboxy-THC in doping control urine samples collected in competition might also result from cannabis use in out-of-competition periods. The analysis of the glucuronide of the pharmacologically active delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-gluc) may represent a complementary indicator for the detection of cannabis misuse in competition.An assay for the determination of THC-gluc in human urine was established. The sample preparation consisted of liquid-liquid extraction of urine specimens, and extracts were analysed by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Authentic doping-control urine samples as well as specimens obtained from a controlled smoking study were analysed and assay characteristics such as specificity, detection limit (0.1 ng/mL), precision (>90%), recovery ( approximately 80%), and extraction efficiency (90%) were determined.
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