∆8-THC-COOH cross-reactivity with cannabinoid immunoassay kits and interference in chromatographic testing methods
Mullen, L. D., Hart, E. D., Vikingsson, S., Winecker, R. E., Hayes, E., & Flegel, R. (2023). ∆8-THC-COOH cross-reactivity with cannabinoid immunoassay kits and interference in chromatographic testing methods. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 47(7), 557-562. https://doi.org/10.1093/jat/bkad042
Because of structural similarities, the presence of 11-Nor-9-carboxy-Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC-COOH) in a urine specimen might interfere with testing for 11-Nor-9-carboxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC-COOH). A set of samples containing Δ8-THC-COOH with concentrations ranging from 10 to 120 ng/mL were tested at cut-offs of 20, 50 and 100 ng/mL using cannabinoid immunoassay reagents from three different manufacturers. Cross-reactivities ranged from 87% to 112% for Δ8-THC-COOH at the cut-off of 50 ng/mL for the three different platforms. Additionally, samples containing both Δ8-THC-COOH and Δ9-THC-COOH were fortified by the National Laboratory Certification Program (NLCP). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)-Certified Laboratories tested the samples to determine the interference of Δ8-THC-COOH on confirmatory tests commonly used in workplace drug testing laboratories for the confirmation and quantification of Δ9-THC-COOH. When evaluating confirmation and quantification of Δ9-THC-COOH in the presence of Δ8-THC-COOH, unreportable results for Δ9-THC-COOH were observed because of chromatographic interference or mass ratio failures. However, there were no false-positive Δ9-THC-COOH reports from any HHS-certified laboratory.