EXTRACTION AND IDENTIFICATION OF ATROPINE FROM “LEGAL HIGH” PLANT SPECIES
Atropine from herbs has been used in traditional medicine over centuries, mainly because of its hallucinogenic properties. When administrated orally through abusing of Datura stramonium (DS) seeds, atropine is quickly absorbed causing dilatation of the pupil, tachycardia, hyperthermia, dizziness, nausea, extreme confusion, deliriant hallucinations and in some cases death. Knowing that Datura stramonium is one of the "legal high" plant with a high risk of toxicity for humans and animals, forensic analysis of such material is of high importance. This work aimed at developing a fast and simple method for extraction and determination of the atropine content as the main alkaloid in DS seeds. Optimization of parameters for conventional heated solid-liquid extraction of atropine from DS seeds were obtained by varying the particle size (8.6 mm-1.7 mm), temperature (40°C-60 °C), and ethanol concentration (48.0 – 96.0 %). Extracts were analyzed on Acquity UPLC HSS C18 1.8 µm column with mobile phase acetonitrile and formiate buffer pH 3.6 (75:25) and flow rate of 0.4 mL/min. Quantitation was done in MRM mode using m/z 290→ 124 and 290→ 93 transitions.
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