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Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometric and Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometric Determination of Hallucinogenic Indoles Psilocin and Psilocybin in "Magic Mushroom" Samples

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 50 Issue: 2 Dated: March 2005 Pages: 336-340
Tooru Kamata M.S.; Mayumi Nishikawa Ph.D.; Munehiro Katagi Ph.D.; Hitoshi Tsuchihashi Ph.D.
Date Published
March 2005
5 pages
Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) on an ODS column with an acidic mobile phase achieved a rapid, sensitive and accurate extraction of psilocin (PC) and psilocybin (PB) from "magic mushroom" samples.
"Magic mushrooms" is the street name for mushrooms that contain hallucinogenic indole alkaloids PC and PB. They are naturally occurring and have been used extensively for recreational purposes as hallucinogenic substances in various countries in Europe as well as in America and Japan. In Japan, this led to the placement of the fruit body (including its powder) of the mushrooms containing PC and/or PB on a contraband list in June 2002. In the current study, LC-MS and LC-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) conditions for the simultaneous determination of PC and PB were examined. The chromatographic separation on an ODS column and mass spectral information yielded complete discrimination between PC and PB without derivatization. The mass spectrometric detection had a high sensitivity, and the tandem mass spectrometric detection provided more specificity and accuracy, as well as high sensitivity. The detection limits ranged from 1 to 25 pg by LC-MS in the selected ion monitoring mode, and the intra- and inter-day coefficients of variation were estimated to be 4.21-5.93 percent by LC-MS-MS in the selected reaction monitoring mode. By applying the LC-MS-MS technique to four real samples, the contents of PC and PB were found to vary over a wide range (0.60-1.4 and 0.18-3.8 mg/g dry wt. for PC and PB, respectively) between samples. 4 figures, 1 table, and 26 references


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