A new urine test could help curtail the use of the latest synthetic cannabinoids to enter the drug scene

Oct. 10, 2022
Findings published in AACC’s Clinical Chemistry journal.

A study published in AACC’s Clinical Chemistry journal shows that a novel drug test detects a new class of synthetic cannabinoids called OXIZIDs. This test could enable drug enforcement agencies to identify OXIZID users and could play a critical role in efforts to stop the spread of these drugs.

OXIZIDs are one of the latest classes of synthetic cannabinoids to enter the drug scene, and little is currently known about how to detect them. A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore therefore set out to develop a urine test for these drugs. Led by Eric Chun Yong Chan, PhD, the team first incubated human liver microsomes with four different OXIZIDs to get a preliminary idea of what metabolites are produced when the human body breaks down these drugs. From this, the researchers identified 42 to 51 metabolites for each of the OXIZIDs.

As a next step, Chan’s team tested four urine samples from known OXIZID users for both the parent drugs and these metabolites. In the samples, the researchers detected the parent OXIZIDs known as BZO-HEXOXIZID, BZO-POXIZID, and 5F-BZO-POXIZID, along with their N-alkyl and phenyl mono-hydroxylated metabolites. This shows that these compounds can be used together in a urinary drug panel to conduct routine monitoring for OXIZID abuse. Additionally, it’s important to note that the metabolites were present in urine at higher concentrations than the parent drugs, showing the necessity of including these metabolites in a drug test for OXIZIDs.

AACC release