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The phenomenon of para-Fluorophenylpiperazine (pFPP) in combination with the synthetic cannabinoid AMB-FUBINACA in seized plant material in New Zealand.


New psychoactive substances have emerged as a vast and diverse group of illicit drugs over the past decade, with synthetic cannabinoids comprising the largest of the categories. Commonly, a single synthetic cannabinoid is applied to plant material, creating a product that is designed to be smoked by the user. The clandestine preparation process can result in an unevenly distributed product, with varying concentration within and between plant materials. This investigation describes the novel co-detection of the synthetic cannabinoid AMB-FUBINACA, with the piperazine para-fluorophenylpiperazine (pFPP), in a number of plant material samples analysed in New Zealand in 2017. Of 157 samples of plant material containing AMB-FUBINACA, pFPP was detected in 55 of them. A range of pFPP concentrations was observed between the plant material samples, as well as intra-batch variation. The presence of both drugs may be designed to enhance, prolong or balance the psychoactive effects caused from smoking the plant material. However the intended purpose has not been verified. This is the first reported combination of a synthetic cannabinoid and a piperazine in plant material.

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