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Analytical Investigation of Legal High Products Containing Salvia Divinorum Traded in Smartshops and Internet

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Analytical Investigation of Legal High Products Containing Salvia Divinorum Traded in Smartshops and Internet

Fernando Xavier Moreira et al. Forensic Sci Int.

Abstract

Lately, the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum has been considered a popular recreational product among adolescents, being legally sold in several countries in "smartshops" and in internet websites. Sellers frequently omit the safety information about the plant, encouraging its use for recreational purposes, without providing adequate qualitative and quantitative details. The principal hallucinogenic compound of the plant, salvinorin A, alongside with three other isomeric compounds, salvinorin B, C and D were evaluated in 10 products containing S. divinorum. These products were obtained in smartshops and from internet websites, and contained concentrated extracts of salvinorin A, with potencies labeled between "5x" and "60x". For that purpose a simple and rapid extraction protocol and a GC-MS methodology were developed and applied to the purchased samples. The analysis of S. divinorum samples allowed the identification of four salvinorins, salvinorin A being the most prevalent hallucinogen. In the tested samples, there were several unreliable data provided to consumers. Frequently, there was no information on salvinorin A concentration, but when it existed, it generally did not correspond to the true amount present in products. On the other hand, the concentration of salvinorin A in each product far exceeded the amount needed to produce hallucinogenic effects.

Keywords: Legal drugs; Salvia divinorum; Salvinorin A; Smartshops.

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