Scientists lay the groundwork for a reliable marijuana breathalyzer

Researchers have measured a fundamental physical property of the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana.

Although several companies are working to develop marijuana breathalyzers, testing a person’s breath for marijuana-derived compounds is far more complicated than testing for alcohol.

But scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have taken an important step toward that goal by measuring a fundamental physical property of the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Specifically, they measured the vapor pressure of this compound — a measurement that, due to the compound’s chemical structure, is very difficult and has not been accomplished before. The results were published in Forensic Chemistry.

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National Institute of Standards and Technology. “Scientists lay the groundwork for a reliable marijuana breathalyzer.” www.sciencedaily.com. 6 July 2017. Web. 20 November 2017.

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