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The analysis of commercially available natural products recommended for use in electronic cigarettes

NCJ Number
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Volume: 34 Issue: 11 Dated: June 2020
Date Published
June 2020

This study analyzed commercially available natural products recommended for use in electronic cigarettes.


Newer e-cigarettes are often advertised as “heat not burn” and are used for “vaping” various forms of extracts including “waxes” and “dabs” and raw plant material. In the current study, A single manufacturer was found online selling “24 different herbs” in powders, extracts, or e-liquids. These were advertised as “legal in the USA” and each product listed multiple effects. Eight e-liquids, six extracts (resins), and four powders from eight different “herbs,” namely African dream, areca nut, blue lotus, damiana, kra thum na, kra thum kok, klip dagga, and wild lettuce, were purchased. An advertisement for these products stated, “Most people use the leaves, powder or resin in vaporizers.” Direct analysis in real time AccuTOF™ mass spectrometry (DART-MS) was used to identify the psychoactive components in the natural products. The psychoactive compounds that were identified in only two of the eight e-liquids, three of the five resins, and three of the four powders were arecaidine, arecoline, coumarin, entadamide, mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine, and nuciferine. Psychoactive and potentially harmful substances were present in the powders and resins of the natural products. The newer types of e-cigarettes made for consuming natural products may increase their abuse potential. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: June 1, 2020