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Journal Article


Angerer V, Mogler L, Steitz JP, Bisel P, Hess C, Schoeder CT, Müller CE, Huppertz LM, Westphal F, Schäper J, Auwärter V. Drug Test. Anal. 2018; 10(3): 597-603.


Institute of Forensic Medicine, Forensic Toxicology, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


(Copyright © 2018, John Wiley and Sons)






The number of new psychoactive substances (NPS) that have emerged on the European market has been rapidly growing in the last years, with a particularly high number of new compounds from the group of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists. There have been various political efforts to control the trade and the use of NPS worldwide. In Germany, the 'Act to control the distribution of new psychoactive substances' (NpSG) came into force in November 2016. In this new Act two groups of substances were defined, the group 'cannabimimetics/synthetic cannabinoids' covering indole, indazole and benzimidazole core structures, and a second group named 'compounds derived from 2-phenethylamine'. Shortly after, the first retailers of 'herbal blends' promoted new products allegedly not violating the German NpSG. We describe the identification and structural elucidation of one of the first synthetic cannabinoids not being covered by the NpSG, 5-pentyl-2-(2-phenylpropan-2-yl)-2,5-dihydro-1H-pyrido[4,3-b]indol-1-one. For isolation of the substance a flash chromatography separation was applied. The structure elucidation was performed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), gas chromatography-solid state infrared spectroscopy (GC-sIR), liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-quadrupole time of flight-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-qToF-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis. Additionally, binding affinity towards the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 and efficacy in a cAMP accumulation assay was measured, showing full agonistic activity and high potency at both receptors. The new compound bears a γ-carboline core structure circumventing the German NpSG and also the generic definitions in other national laws. As a semi-systematic name for 2-cumyl-5-pentyl-gamma-carbolin-1-one CUMYL-PEGACLONE is suggested.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Language: en


5-dihydro-1H-pyrido[4,3-b]indol-1-one; 5-pentyl-2-(2-phenylpropan-2-yl)-2; cannabimimetics; herbal blends; new psychoactive substances; γ-carboline


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