Cannabinoid disposition in oral fluid after controlled cannabis smoking in frequent and occasional smokers

Matthew N. Newmeyer, Nathalie A. Desrosiers, Dayong Lee, Damodara R. Mendu, Allan J. Barnes, David A. Gorelick, Marilyn A. Huestis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Oral fluid (OF) is an increasingly popular alternative matrix for drug testing, with cannabinoids being the most commonly identified illicit drug. Quantification of multiple OF cannabinoids and understanding differences in OF cannabinoid pharmacokinetics between frequent and occasional smokers improve test interpretation. The new Oral-Eze® OF collection device has an elution buffer that stabilizes analytes and improves drug recovery from the collection pad; however, its performance has not been independently evaluated. After controlled smoking of a 6.8% Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis cigarette by frequent and occasional smokers, OF was collected with the Oral-Eze device for up to 30 h. Samples were analyzed for multiple cannabinoids by a validated 2D-GC-MS method. Frequent smokers had significantly greater OF THCCOOH concentrations than occasional smokers at all times, and showed positive results for a significantly longer time. We evaluated multiple cannabinoid cut-offs; the shortest last detection times were observed when THC ≥1μg/L was combined with CBD or CBN ≥1μg/L. With these cut-offs, last detection times(1-13.5 h) were not significantly different between groups, demonstrating suitability for short-term cannabinoid detection independent of smoking history. Cut-offs utilizing THC alone or combined with THCCOOH showed significantly different last detection times between groups. The widest detection windows were observed with THC ≥1 or 2μg/L or THCCOOH ≥20ng/L. Our data illustrate the effectiveness of the Oral-Eze® device for OF collection, the impact of self-administered smoked cannabis history on OF cannabinoid results, and the ability to improve interpretation and tailor OF cannabinoid cut-offs to fulfill the detection window needs of a given program. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1002-1010
Number of pages9
JournalDrug Testing and Analysis
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cannabinoids
  • Oral fluid
  • Oral-Eze®

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Spectroscopy


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