Oral fluid testing for cannabis: on-site OraLine IV s.a.t. device versus GC/MS.Forensic Sci Int. 2006 Sep 12; 161(2-3):180-4.FS
Saliva or "oral fluid" has been presented as an alternative matrix to document drug use. The non-invasive collection of a saliva sample, which is relatively easy to perform and can be achieved under close supervision, is one of the most important benefits in a driving under the influence situation. Moreover, the presence of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in oral fluid is a better indication of recent use than when 11-nor-Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (THC-COOH) is detected in urine, so there is a higher probability that the subject is experiencing pharmacological effects at the time of sampling. In the first part of the study, 27 drug addicts were tested for the presence of THC using the OraLine IV s.a.t. device to establish the potential of this new on-site DOA detection technique. In parallel, oral fluid was collected with the Intercept DOA Oral Specimen Collection device and tested for THC by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) after methylation for THC (limit of quantification: 1 ng/mL). The OraLine device correctly identified nine saliva specimens positive for cannabis with THC concentrations ranging from 3 to 265 ng/mL, but remained negative in four other samples where low THC concentrations were detected by GC/MS (1-13 ng/mL). One false positive was noted. Secondly, two male subjects were screened in saliva using the OraLine and Intercept devices after consumption of a single cannabis cigarette containing 25mg of THC. Saliva was first tested with the OraLine device and then collected with the Intercept device for GC/MS confirmation. In one subject, the OraLine on-site test was positive for THC for 2 h following drug intake with THC concentrations decreasing from 196 to 16 ng/mL, while the test remained positive for 1.5 h for the second subject (THC concentrations ranging from 199 to 11 ng/mL). These preliminary results obtained with the OraLine IV s.a.t. device indicate more encouraging data for the detection of THC using on-site tests than previous evaluations.