Identification of three novel new psychoactive substances 4F-AB-BUTINACA, AB-PHETINACA, and 2F-NENDCK

Drug Test Anal. 2023 Jan;15(1):115-122. doi: 10.1002/dta.3359. Epub 2022 Sep 18.


The identification of new psychoactive substances (NPS) is an active and cutting-edge topic in forensic science. With the emergence of a large number of NPS, their timely identification to prevent spread can pose a challenge to clinical and forensic toxicology laboratories. Three emerging NPS had been identified in recently seized materials, including two synthetic cannabinoids [N-(1-amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(4-fluorobutyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (4F-AB-BUTINACA) and N-(1-amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-phenethyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AB-PHETINACA)] and a ketamine-like substance [2-(2-fluorophenyl)-2-(ethylamino) cyclohexan-1-one(2F-NENDCK)]. The three compounds were first identified by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FT-IR), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF-MS), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). These data may assist forensic analysts in analyzing the same substances or their homologous compounds.

Keywords: GC-MS; UHPLC-QTOF-MS; nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR); substance identification; synthetic cannabinoids.

MeSH terms

  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Illicit Drugs* / analysis
  • Indazoles / analysis
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared / methods


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Indazoles