Professional Publisher Elsevier write…….. Various cosmetic hair manipulations are known to interfere with drug of abuse concentrations in hair. It is important to evaluate the effects of cosmetic hair treatments as they can influence quantitative hair results. Only one study showed a significant decrease of THC after bleaching and coloring.

The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of bleaching, perming and dyeing treatment on D-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but also Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabinol (CBN) and 11-nor-D9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (THC-COOH) in hair.

Thirty THC-positive hair samples were selected in this study. A single hair lock was divided in 2 separate locks and the proximal 3 cm segment was analyzed. One lock served as control while the other lock was bleached, permed or dyed respectively. Hair was analyzed using a routine method including cleaning, treatment of hair with NaOH and 2 different SPE extractions for THC, CBN, CBD and THC-COOH respectively. Analysis was performed with routine methods using GC/MS-MS in electron impact (EI) mode for THC, CBN and CBD or negative chemical ionization (NCI) mode for THC-COOH after PTV-injection.

Bleaching and perming reduced all cannabinoids concentration in hair; THC was more affected than THC-COOH, CBN and CBD. Bleaching caused strong chemical degradation on cannabinoids, while perming exerted more a leaching out effect. Permanent colorings in single applications had only little effects on cannabinoids,

Finally this study highlights the importance of considering bleaching and perming for the correct interpretation of hair results.

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