Chemistry Class in Jefferson’s Rotunda

Chemistry nerds unite! A chemical hearth has been uncovered during recent renovations to the famed Rotunda designed by Thomas Jefferson.  Curators believe that the first Professor of Natural History at the University of Virginia, John Emmett, may have used the hearth in the 1850’s. You can read more about the discovery here.

Alternative Perspectives: Dabbers By: D Michelle O’Neal, Senior Forensic Chemist

Dabbers By D Michelle O’Neal In the Forensic Drug Chemistry Section where I work we’re seeing more and more of a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) positive taffy-like substance. I’d always referred to it as marihuana ‘budder’ and assumed it was used in special snack treat recipes. Since our lab isn’t in a marihuana friendly state, I decided on[…]

E-Cigs and Drug Use

 E-Cigs and Drug Use   The use of tobacco products can lead to nicotine addiction and prolonged use can result in lung disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease.1 Electronic cigarettes or e-cigs are perceived safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes and their use is on the rise.2 “In 2012 adolescent ever-use increased to 6.8% and, among high[…]

What is “High”? A Look at the Legalization of “Marijuana” Part II

What is “High”? A Look at the Legalization of “Marijuana” Part II A recent survey found that 6.8 percent of drivers, mostly under age 35, who were involved in accidents tested positive for THC; alcohol levels above the legal limit were found in 21 percent of such drivers.”-National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) In the[…]

What is “High”? A Look at the Legalization of “Marijuana”

What is “High”? A Look at the Legalization of “Marijuana”  “mar·i·jua·na1 noun 1: hemp 2: the dried leaves and flowering tops of the pistillate hemp plant that yield THC and are sometimes smoked in cigarettes for their intoxicating effect”1 The term marijuana, also known as pot, grass, and weed, refers to the psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol[…]

The “Sly” Foxy Methoxy (5-MeO-DIPT)

The “Sly” Foxy Methoxy (5-MeO-DIPT) 5-MeO-DIPT (5-methoxy-N, N-diisopropyltryptamine) is not a new drug, with its introduction to the forensic toxicology community in the late 1990’s, but it has regained popularity as one of the many synthetic compounds available to drug users. 5-MeO-DIPT goes by the street names of “Foxy” or “Foxy Methoxy”, is similar to[…]

Size Matters-Dose Size That Is… “Designer Drugs”

 Size Matters-Dose Size That Is… “Designer Drugs”  In the post “Size Matters-Dose Size That Is… Prescription Drugs” we took a look at dosage of prescription drugs as well as the risks of prescription drug abuse and some of the organizations battling this growing problem. When asked how prescription narcotics were obtained for nonmedical use, 70% of[…]

Size Matters-Dose Size That Is… Prescription Drugs

Size Matters-Dose Size That Is… Prescription Drugs   Legal cases involving the use of the compound zolpidem, a drug used to induce and/or maintain sleep, have made the news with the rare “sleep driving” scenario-where an individual unknowingly operates a car while they should be asleep in bed. Nevertheless a more common situation exits and[…]

Alternative Perspectives: A Horse of Many Colors By: Christina Coucke-Garza, Senior Forensic Drug Chemist

In the fields of Forensic Toxicology and Forensic Science, the day-to-day experiences of scientists can vary depending on the area of the world they serve. Our goal with the “Alternative Perspectives” series is to offer experiences from Forensic Scientists all over the world. We begin this journey with Christina Coucke-Garza’s “A Horse of Many Colors”[…]

Designer Drugs: Methylone

Designer Drugs: Methylone 3, 4 Methylenedioxymethcathinone or Methylone is a psychoactive substance of the phenethlamine class encountered either knowingly or unknowingly by users for the pharmacological similarities to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “Ecstasy”).1 As with many of the new psychoactive substances or “designer drugs” (Benzofury, NBOMe’s, BZP/TFMPP, etc.) sometimes the true identify of the compound(s) ingested (or[…]