Time-and temperature-dependent postmortem 9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration changes in rabbits following controlled inhaled cannabis administration

Kacey D. Cliburn, Philip M. Kemp, Marilyn A. Huestis, Jarrad R. Wagner, Mark Payton, Lin Liu, Yurong Liang, Lara K. Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

ostmortem redistribution (PMR), a well-known phenomenon in forensic toxicology, can result in substantial changes in drug concentrations after death, depending on the chemical characteristics of the drug, blood collection site, storage conditions of the body and postmortem interval (PMI). Limited PMR data are available for 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component in Cannabis sativa. PMR was evaluated after controlled cannabis inhalation via a smoking machine and exposure chamber in New Zealand white rabbits. Necropsies were performed on five control rabbits immediately after euthanasia, whereas 27 others were stored at room temperature (21°C) or refrigerated conditions (4°C) until necropsy at 2, 6, 16, 24 or 36 h after death. THC and its Phase I and glucuronidated Phase II metabolites were quantified in blood, vitreous humor, urine, bile and tissues by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS). Under refrigerated temperature, heart blood THC concentrations significantly increased at PMI 2 h in rabbits, whereas peripheral blood THC concentrations showed a significant increase at PMI 16 h. Central:peripheral blood and liver:peripheral blood ratios for THC ranged from 0.13 to 4.1 and 0.28 to 8.9, respectively. Lung revealed the highest THC concentrations, while brain and liver exhibited the most stable THC concentrations over time. This report contributes much needed data to our understanding of postmortem THC behavior and can aid toxicologists in the interpretation of THC concentrations in medicolegal death investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850-857
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Analytical Toxicology
Volume47
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Time-and temperature-dependent postmortem 9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration changes in rabbits following controlled inhaled cannabis administration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this