Drugs of Abuse Confirmation by GC/MS

a p p l i c at i o n N o t e
Gas Chromatography/
Mass Spectrometry
Author
Timothy D. Ruppel
PerkinElmer, Inc.
Shelton, CT 06484 USA
Drugs of Abuse
Confirmation by
GC/MS
Solid dosage forms are the backbone of the drug section in the
Forensic Laboratory. Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry is
the main instrument for positive identification of these controlled
substances.
The following pages show selected controlled substances in about a
10 minute screening method with another injection made every
12 minutes. Faster analysis is quite easy over the full temperature
range making another injection every 6 minutes or less.
Fast sample throughput is improved by using a short, thin filmed
column, fast flow rate of 2-3 mL/min into the mass spectrometer,
rapid cooling oven to cool from 300 °C to 100 °C in 1 minute,
autosampler pre-rinsing during oven cool-down.
Hydrogen as the carrier gas will also be beneficial to show improvements in throughput but was not utilized in these examples.
Gas Chromatograph: PerkinElmer® Clarus® 680 GC
Injector: Capillary injector split mode, 250 °C Split ratio: 50:1.
Injection port liner: Siltek™ with wool (Cat. No. N6502010).
GC Column: Elite-5 (5%Phenyl/95% Methyl Silicone) –
12 m x .200 mm x 0.33 µm (Cat. No. N9316110).
Helium carrier – 2mL/min.
GC oven: Start temperature 100 °C hold for 0.5 min, then
40 °C min to 300 °C = 10 min.
Mass Spectrometer: PerkinElmer Clarus SQ 8 GC/MS
255 L/sec turbomolecular pump, EI mode, Scan range:
35-500 da, 0.25 sec/cycle.
Barbiturates
4.41butalbital
4.57amobarbital
4.80pentobarbital
5.06secobarbital
5.94phenobarbital
Amobarbital
Phenobarbital
2
Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines
7.62oxazepam
7.95lorazepam
8.07diazepam
8.67temazepam
8.75flunitrazepam
9.34nitrazepam
9.63clonazepam
9.97alprazolam
Oxazepam
Diazepam
Alprazolam
3
Opiates
6.78methadone
7.83codeine
8.10hydrocodone
8.41oxycodone
4.84meperidine
Codeine
Hydrocodone
Oxycodone
4
Amines
1.37 amphetamine
1.54phentermine
1.65methamphetamine
3.293,4-methylendioxyamphetamine
3.603,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine
3.863,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine
Amphetamine
MDA
MDMA
5
Methamphetamine,
Cocaine, Heroin
Methamphetamine
Cocaine
Heroin
LSD
LSD
6
Cannabis sativa L. (marijuana) analysis can be done by GC/MS for purposes of legal matters,
but new applications for the analysis of this controlled substance are now being used. In the
USA, medical marijuana dispensaries are now legal in several states. Suppliers of the plant
material to these dispensaries are interested in the strength of the plant material, primarily the
concentration of THC. The higher the THC content, the better the marijuana. So now GC and
Mass Spec have arrived as quality control tools for the medical marijuana industry. In addition,
the ratios of THC, cannabinol and cannabidiol can be used to grade plant maturity as immature,
adolescent or mature plants. THC concentration of modern marijuana is now 3-4 times the
strength of street marijuana several decades ago.
Chromatogram of
Marijuana plant material
Tetrahydrocannabinol
at 8.21 min
20% w/w concentration
Cannabinol at 8.42 min
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