Extraction and Analysis of Tetrahydrocannabinol, A Cannabis Compound in Oral Fluid

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2.1 Liquid-Liquid Extraction
Liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) is a basic technique and widely used in analytical chemistry and often consists two types of immiscible solvents, usually aqueous solution and an organic solvent. The target analyte in most cases will be more soluble in the organic solvent. The analyte is usually in low concentration in the beginning solution.

Using proper liquid-liquid extraction and drying will help to separate and concentrate the desired analyte and make it easier for the further analysis thereafter.

The liquid-liquid extraction method has been employed by many forensic and law enforcement agencies for the detection of drug abuse and driving under influence. For THC related compounds, most of them are more soluble in organic solvents than in wate . So a simple direct organic extraction is adequate for the separation and enrichment of the analyte. An example can be seen in the study by B Backstrom et al. (1997). The herbal drug material was extracted using ethanol for 30 minutes at room temperature. Then the extract was analyzed against a standard solution. HPLC, GC-MS and SFC-APCI-MS were compared for the speed, selectivity, and reliability. In modern analytical testing environment, these techniques are commonly used as routine instrumentation. Basic HPLC and GC-MS flow chart and block diagrams can be seen in Figure 1-2.

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