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Identification of MDMB-FUBINACA in Commercially Available E-liquid Formulations Sold for Use in Electronic Cigarettes

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International Volume: 271 Issue: 9 Dated: February 2017 Pages: 92-97
Michelle R. Peace; Rose I. Krakowiak; Carl E. Wolf; Alphonse Poklis; Justin L. Poklis
Date Published
February 2017
6 pages
This article reports on a project that identified designer drug MDMB-FUBINACA - chemical name methyl (S)-2-(1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazoli-3-carboxamido)-3,3-dimethlylbutanoate - in three commercially available e-liquids formulated for electronic cigarette use.

The e-liquids were evaluated using direct analysis in real time ion source attached to a time of flight mass spectrometer (DART-MS) and gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GC-MS) to identify active ingredients/drugs, flavorants, and other possible constituents. The e-liquids were also evaluated for alcohol content by headspace gas chromatography with flame ionization detector (HS-GC-FID). The aerosol produced from the e-liquids by use of an e-cigarette was analyzed by solid phase micro-extraction gas chromatography mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS) to ensure delivery of the active ingredient/drug. Propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, MDMB-FUBINACA, alcohol content and a flavor profile were determined for each of the e-liquids. MDMB-FUBINACA was determined to be the major active ingredient in all three e-liquids and was successfully detected by SPME-GC-MS in the aerosol generated by a KangerTech Aerotank clearomizer/electronic cigarette. 1 graphical abstract (Publisher abstract modified)