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Finding cannabinoids in hair does not prove cannabis consumption.
Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 07; 5:14906.SR

Abstract

Hair analysis for cannabinoids is extensively applied in workplace drug testing and in child protection cases, although valid data on incorporation of the main analytical targets, ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH), into human hair is widely missing. Furthermore, ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA-A), the biogenetic precursor of THC, is found in the hair of persons who solely handled cannabis material. In the light of the serious consequences of positive test results the mechanisms of drug incorporation into hair urgently need scientific evaluation. Here we show that neither THC nor THCA-A are incorporated into human hair in relevant amounts after systemic uptake. THC-COOH, which is considered an incontestable proof of THC uptake according to the current scientific doctrine, was found in hair, but was also present in older hair segments, which already grew before the oral THC intake and in sebum/sweat samples. Our studies show that all three cannabinoids can be present in hair of non-consuming individuals because of transfer through cannabis consumers, via their hands, their sebum/sweat, or cannabis smoke. This is of concern for e.g. child-custody cases as cannabinoid findings in a child's hair may be caused by close contact to cannabis consumers rather than by inhalation of side-stream smoke.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institute of Forensic Medicine, Forensic Toxicology, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Albertstr. 9, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.Institute of Forensic Medicine, Forensic Toxicology, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Albertstr. 9, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.Institute of Forensic Medicine, Forensic Toxicology, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Albertstr. 9, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26443501

Citation

Moosmann, Bjoern, et al. "Finding Cannabinoids in Hair Does Not Prove Cannabis Consumption." Scientific Reports, vol. 5, 2015, p. 14906.
Moosmann B, Roth N, Auwärter V. Finding cannabinoids in hair does not prove cannabis consumption. Sci Rep. 2015;5:14906.
Moosmann, B., Roth, N., & Auwärter, V. (2015). Finding cannabinoids in hair does not prove cannabis consumption. Scientific Reports, 5, 14906. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep14906
Moosmann B, Roth N, Auwärter V. Finding Cannabinoids in Hair Does Not Prove Cannabis Consumption. Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 7;5:14906. PubMed PMID: 26443501.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Finding cannabinoids in hair does not prove cannabis consumption. AU - Moosmann,Bjoern, AU - Roth,Nadine, AU - Auwärter,Volker, Y1 - 2015/10/07/ PY - 2015/05/11/received PY - 2015/09/11/accepted PY - 2015/10/8/entrez PY - 2015/10/8/pubmed PY - 2016/8/12/medline SP - 14906 EP - 14906 JF - Scientific reports JO - Sci Rep VL - 5 N2 - Hair analysis for cannabinoids is extensively applied in workplace drug testing and in child protection cases, although valid data on incorporation of the main analytical targets, ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH), into human hair is widely missing. Furthermore, ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA-A), the biogenetic precursor of THC, is found in the hair of persons who solely handled cannabis material. In the light of the serious consequences of positive test results the mechanisms of drug incorporation into hair urgently need scientific evaluation. Here we show that neither THC nor THCA-A are incorporated into human hair in relevant amounts after systemic uptake. THC-COOH, which is considered an incontestable proof of THC uptake according to the current scientific doctrine, was found in hair, but was also present in older hair segments, which already grew before the oral THC intake and in sebum/sweat samples. Our studies show that all three cannabinoids can be present in hair of non-consuming individuals because of transfer through cannabis consumers, via their hands, their sebum/sweat, or cannabis smoke. This is of concern for e.g. child-custody cases as cannabinoid findings in a child's hair may be caused by close contact to cannabis consumers rather than by inhalation of side-stream smoke. SN - 2045-2322 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26443501/Finding_cannabinoids_in_hair_does_not_prove_cannabis_consumption_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1038/srep14906 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -