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Seywright A, Torrance HJ, Wylie FM, McKeown DA, Lowe DJ, Stevenson R. 
“Analysis and clinical findings of cases positive for the novel synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist MDMB-CHMICA”. 
Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2016 Sep 18;54(8):632-7.
MDMB-CHMICA is a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist which has caused concern due to its presence in cases of adverse reaction and death.

METHODS: 43 cases of suspected synthetic cannabinoid ingestion were identified from patients presenting at an Emergency Department and from post-mortem casework. These were subjected to liquid-liquid extraction using tertiary-butyl methyl ether and quantitatively analysed by Electrospray Ionisation Liquid Chromatography-tandem Mass Spectrometry. For positive samples, case and clinical details were sought and interrogated.

RESULTS: 11 samples were found positive for MDMB-CHMICA. Concentrations found ranged from < 1 to 22 ng/mL (mean: 6 ng/mL, median: 3 ng/mL). The age range was 15-44 years (mean: 26 years, median: 21 years), with the majority (82%) of positive results found in males. Clinical presentations included hypothermia, hypoglycaemia, syncope, recurrent vomiting, altered mental state and serotonin toxicity, with corresponding concentrations of MDMB-CHMICA as low as < 1 ng/mL. Duration of hospitalisation ranged from 3 to 24 h (mean: 12 h, median: 8 h).

PURPOSE: The concentration range presented in this case series is indicative of MDMB-CHMICA having a high potency, as is known to be the case for other synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists. The age range and gender representation were consistent with that reported for users of other drugs of this type. The clinical presentations observed were typical of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists and show the difficulties in identifying reactions potentially associated with drugs of this type.

CONCLUSIONS: The range of MDMB-CHMICA concentrations in Emergency Department presentations (n = 9) and post-mortem cases (n = 2) was reported. No correlation between the concentration of this drug and clinical presentation or cause of death was reported in this sample. However, the potential for harm associated with low concentrations of MDMB-CHMICA and the symptoms of toxicity being non-specific were highlighted.

Key Words: Blood analysis; MMB-CHMINACA; NPS; legal highs
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