The identification of components and quantitation of nicotine in electronic cigarette liquids and the identification of components in cannabidiol liquids using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
Miller, Alexandria N
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The popularity of electronic cigarettes continues to rise and as a result the variety of electronic cigarette liquids (e-liquids) continues to increase and now includes variations that contain various cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD). E-liquids still lack standardization with regards to their manufacturing as regulation of nicotine containing e-liquids has recently come into effect in the United States. This has resulted in e-liquid matrices and nicotine content that vary greatly depending upon manufacturer. This study sought to look at the variation in e-liquids across a number of manufacturers. A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method was developed to identify the components of and quantify the amount of nicotine in e-liquids and to identify the components of CBD containing e-liquids. Five manufacturers of e-liquids were selected including one that produced CBD containing liquids. From each of the manufacturers, excluding the one creating CBD liquids, five flavors were selected for testing. E-liquids with reported nicotine concentrations of 0 mg/mL, 6 mg/mL and 18 mg/mL were chosen for each flavor. A total of 58 liquids were tested, as some concentrations of certain flavors were unavailable at the time of testing. Four CBD liquids were obtained from a single-manufacturer for analysis. A dilution was performed prior to analysis by GC-MS due to the viscous nature of the liquids. Analysis was performed in triplicate to identify the components of the liquids and to quantify the amount of nicotine in the nicotine containing e-liquids. Identification of the components of the e-liquids and CBD liquids, and quantitation of nicotine was accomplished using GC-MS. Some but not all of the e-liquids labeled as 0 mg/mL by their manufacturer contained detectable amounts of nicotine. E-liquids labeled as having a particular concentration of nicotine may contain more or less than that which is stated. Cannabidiol liquids may contain compounds not suitable for human consumption and may not contain CBD, even if stated otherwise by the manufacturer.