Discrimination of cathinone regioisomers, sold as ‘legal highs’, by Raman spectroscopy
R. Christie, E. Horan, J. Fox, C. O'Donnell, H. J. Byrne, S. McDermott, J. Power and P. Kavanagh
Article first published online: 30 JUL 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/dta.1518
Discrimination of a cross section of cathinone regioisomers, sold as ‘legal highs’, using Raman spectroscopy, is reported here. Isomers of substituted cathinones mephedrone and flephedrone, methylone, butylone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone and naphyrone were synthesized as reference standards. Raman spectra of the isomers were obtained using far-red excitation (785 nm), and it was found possible to discriminate all of the isomers. Correct isomer assignment was also achieved in head shop products, providing a non-destructive and rapid technique for the discrimination of such isomers.