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Chemical Foundations for a Cannabis Breathalyzer

NCJ Number
Tara M. Lovestead; Jason A. Widegren; Kavita M. Jeerage
Date Published
25 pages

This report discusses a research project aimed at developing a method for evaluation, calibration, and quality control of cannabis breathalyzers similar to that which exists for alcohol testing.


This document reports on a project that had the ultimate goal of supporting the reliable identification of recent cannabis use by developing an infrastructure for evaluation, calibration, and quality control of cannabis breathalyzers like those which exist for alcohol breathalyzers. The project’s objectives were: to identify sources of uncertainty in the capture of semi-volatile cannabinoids from breath through the investigation of one device, an impaction filter device containing replicate filters; and to develop robust, low-uncertainty methods to rapidly measure the volatility, or vapor pressure, of cannabis-associated compounds that can be found in breath. The report lays out the major goals and objectives; research questions; research design, methods, analytical, and data analysis techniques; and expected applicability of the research. The report also presents information regarding participants and other collaborating organizations; changes in approach from the original design; and outcomes, including activities and accomplishments, results and findings, and project limitations; artifacts produced, such as publications and data sets, and references cited are also listed.