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29.05.2017 | Minireview | Ausgabe 2/2017 Open Access

Forensic Toxicology 2/2017

Motor vehicle collisions caused by the ‘super-strength’ synthetic cannabinoids, MAM-2201, 5F-PB-22, 5F-AB-PINACA, 5F-AMB and 5F-ADB in Japan experienced from 2012 to 2014

Forensic Toxicology > Ausgabe 2/2017
Shuji Kaneko


From 2012 to 2014 in Japan, 214 cases of motor vehicle collisions were attributed to the use of illegal drugs. In 93 out of 96 investigated cases, the causative agents were a variety of synthetic cannabinoids (SCs). These SCs can be classified into three groups according to the lineage of the chemical structures: (1) naphthoyl indoles, such as MAM-2201, (2) quinolinyl ester indoles, such as 5F-PB-22, and (3) indazole carboxamides, such as 5F-AB-PINACA, 5F-AMB, and 5F-ADB. These SCs became available sequentially with increasing cannabinoid CB1 agonist potencies and reached a nationwide outbreak in the summer of 2014. They caused acute intoxication with impaired consciousness, anterograde amnesia (impaired memory), catalepsy with muscle rigidity, tachycardia, and vomiting or drooling soon after smoking. Drivers who had abused one of these SCs might unexpectedly experience the acute intoxication that caused uncontrolled driving. These SCs were generally difficult to detect from body fluid samples. It is thought that the highly lipophilic SCs disappear from the blood via rapid degradation by liver enzymes and selective accumulation into adipose tissues. Thus, much effort should be directed to the development of fast and sensitive chemical detection of the drug usage.

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