The synthetic cannabinoid, N-(1-adamantyl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide, known also as AKB48 and/or APINACA, has been detected for the first time in herbal incense seized in Italy. Its structural characterization has been performed through gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis. In order to favor an easier and faster identification of AKB48 in future investigations, NMR assignments in deuterated methanol and chloroform is also reported.
Synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals that mimic the effect of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), which is the principal psychoactive constituent (cannabinoid) of the cannabis plant. These chemicals are often added to a mixture of dried plant matter (e.g. herbs) and sold for smoking with names such as "Herbal incense" or "Spice" . Occasionally, they are also sold as powder and if so may be drunk as a tea. Such products were developed to be a legal alternative to cannabis, however many synthetic cannabinoids substances are now banned. Indeed, these products have received broad global attention due to their cannabimimetic effects and a number of countries have not been approved for human consumption in consideration of their potential health problems. On the other hand, many synthetic cannabinoids have only recently been developed and there is very limited information available regarding their short and long-term effects.
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