An analysis of legal highs: do they contain what it says on the tin?

Baron, Mark, Elie, Mathieu and Elie, Leonie (2011) An analysis of legal highs: do they contain what it says on the tin? Drug Testing and Analysis, 3 (9). pp. 576-581. ISSN 1942-7603

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Analysis of legal highs – do they contain what it says on the tin?
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In recent years the availability of so called legal highs over the internet has hugely increased. Numerous online legal high retailers market a broad variety of products
which are advertised as research chemicals, bath salts or plant food although clearly intended for human consumption as recreational drug replacements. No guidelines exist as to what is sold and in what purity. Consumers are led to believe that purchased goods are entirely legal.

In this study several legal high products were purchased and analysed for their content. The powdered products were screened with ATR-FTIR followed by GC-MS analysis of methanol extracts. Spectra were compared to reference standards and the NIST library.

Results showed that 6 out of 7 products did not contain the advertised active ingredient. Moreover, five samples contained the controlled substances benzylpiperazine and 1-[3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]piperazine combined with

Additional Information:First published online: 19th May 2011
Keywords:Legal highs, MDAI, 6-APB, FTIR, GC-MS
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F151 Pharmaceutical Chemistry
F Physical Sciences > F100 Chemistry
F Physical Sciences > F180 Analytical Chemistry
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:3956
Deposited On:08 Feb 2011 19:35

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