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Publication numberUS3676072 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 11, 1972
Filing dateSep 10, 1969
Priority dateSep 10, 1969
Publication numberUS 3676072 A, US 3676072A, US-A-3676072, US3676072 A, US3676072A
InventorsAlan F Krivis
Original AssigneePortage Research & Dev Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Breath test for marijuana smokers and apparatus therefor
US 3676072 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 11, 1972 A. F. KRIVIS 3,676,072

BREATH TEST FOR MARIJUANA SMOKERS AND APPARATUS THEREFOR Filed Sept. 10, 1969 "-3 ALAN KRIVIS ATTORNEY US. Cl. 23-232 R 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A test for determining whether one has recently smoked marijuana. The test involves treating the breath of the person with a compound known to react with decomposition products of marijuana to produce a color reaction. Apparatus is included.

The invention relates to a breath test for smokers of marijuana, and apparatus therefor.

The breath of one who has smoked marijuana compn'ses one or more of the following which are decomposition products derived from marijuana: cannabidiol, cannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinol, and probably other compounds including cannabidiolic acid, etc. Their detection in a breath test is proof that the person has been smoking marijuana or possibly other drugs not usually smoked in the United States. All of these chemicals can be detected by reaction thereof with any of the following, with subsequent treatment of the reaction product as described:

(1) A quinone-4-haloimine, for example quiuone-4- chloroimine, and particularly a 2,'6-dihaloquinone-4-halo imine, especially 2,'6 dichloroquinone-4-chloroimine, and subsequent treatment of the reaction product that is produced, with a basic material, for example sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate or an amine, and preferably ammonia because ammonia forms a volatile base which is usually more easily used than a non-volatile product. If the ammonia reaction product is blue or reddish, the test is positive.

(2) A phenolic-compound, and preferably -nitroso-8- hydroxyquinoline, in acid solution. Sulfuric acid will usually be employed but hydrochloric acid or any other acid which is otherwise inert may be used. On warming, preferably in the range of about to C. (although there is nothing critical about this specific range) if a color develops which may be brown, yellow, green or black, the test is positive. The solution may be warmed first. Heating to too high a temperature may destroy the reaction product or volatilize it. Therefore, the temperature is kept low.

(3) Reaction to produce an azo compound which on later reaction with material in the breath gives a redyellow or green-yellow product is a positive test. For instance, the breath is reacted with a 0.5 percent solution of sulfanilic acid in 2 percent aqueous hydrochloric acid, followed by adding to the resulting solution a drop of a nitrite, for example, sodium nitrite, followed by a drop of a base, for instance sodium bicarbonate.

The foregoing reactions are known reactions for the detection of cannabidiol, cannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinol. So far as known, the use of any of them, or of any other chemical in a. breath test for determining whether a person has smoked marijuana is believed to be new. The sooner the test is applied after smoking, the more positive the results. The test should be applied within a couple of hours after smoking. One may use any one of these tests or any other suitable test for detecting one or more of these compounds in the breath, and this is believed to be new.


The drawing illustrates two different types of equipment that may be used for carrying out the test. In the drawing:

FIG. 1 shows one type of apparatus that may be used for collecting the breath, with means for subsequently conveying it to a container in which the reaction is carried out, and electrical means for detecting whether the test has given positive results; and

FIG. 2 is a simple modification of the equipment shown in FIG. 1.

The container 5 is shown as a steel or other rigid container, which separates into two parts along the parting line 6. The parts are hinged at the rear. In the container is the inflatable balloon 8 fastened to the end of the tubing 10 one end of which extends through the cork 11. The other end is fastened to the three-way valve 13. Also fastened to this valve are the tubing 15 with a mouthpiece 16 at the outer end and the glass tube 18 which is immersed in the beaker or other vessel 20. The tube and tubings enter the valve 13 at degrees from each other. In the plug 21 there is a single opening which can be turned to connect any two tubings or the tube. The mouthpiece 16 may be adapted to fit into the mouth or to fit over the mouth. The container 5 is optional; it limits the amount the balloon can be expanded, and protects it. The two halves of the container are held together by any readily releasable means so that the container can be removed for manual deflation of the bulb.

If the test material must be heated, an external or internal heater is provided for the beaker 20. If ammonia or other reagent is to be added to the beaker, a syringe or dropper or other suitable means for doing this is provided.

In testing a persons breath, the plug is turned to connect the tubing 15 to tubing 10, and then the person suspected of having smoked marijuana inflates the collapsed balloon, by blowing into it, until the balloon fills the container. The use of the container is optional. The plug 21 is then turned to close the tube 10 until the test is to be made, or the plug may be turned to immediately connect tubing 10 to the glass tube 18. The container 5 is thus opened and the balloon 8 is deflated, usually by hand. One experienced in making the test will know that complete deflation is not necessary, and can readily judge when sufficient of the smokers breath has been transferred to the beaker 20 to cause a test reaction to take place. By completely deflating the balloon a quantitative determination may be made.

The intensity of the reaction produced whether a precipitate is formed or a color change occurs, may be measured electrically by projecting either white light or a ray of regulated wave length from the light source 25 through the beaker (quartz) and collecting it in the receiver 26. The meter 30 measures the current flow and is activated only if a reaction has occurred. Such means may be replaced by means to detect the intensity of a particular color or ray if desired. Any means for detecting a positive reaction may be used. If, for instance, an aqueous solution of 2,6-dichloroquinone-4-chloroimine is used in the container 20, by reflating the balloon 8 into the beaker, if a reaction takes place on subsequent treatment with a base, as described, the meter will show it, and it is determined that the person has recently smoked marijuana. Even though the color change is not visually apparent, the meter will show that a reaction has occurred due to the presence of any of these three ingredients being present in the breath.

Any of the above tests may readily be carried out in this equipment.

A simpler device is shown in FIG. 2. The cock 40 is opened and the balloon 41 is deflated. It is preferably completely emptied. Then the smoker, by blowing through the mouthpiece 42 inflates the balloon, and the cock 40 is closed. The mouthpiece (if the apparatus is still intact) is then inserted deep in the test solution in the beaker or other container 43, and the balloon is deflated. If the test material is 2,6-dich1oroquinone-4-chloroimine, ammonia is then added. If the solution in the container 43 is not too dilute, even a small amount of one of the three chemicals mentioned will be sutficient to color the solution in the container 43 so that it can be visually detected, or at least detected by the meter. The other tests may be conducted with this equipment.

If desired, the smoker may blow directly through a tube into a test solution.

It is assumed, of course, that the container 20 will contain a substantial amount of the test material. The use of about 50 milligrams of a test material should be sufficient to detect one microgram of one of the decomposition products mentioned, although the minimum required will depend somewhat upon the test material. If the occurrence of a reaction is to be detected electrically, less may be required than for a reaction which is to be detected visually.

The test is divised primarily for use by law-enforcement ofiicers, but it may be used in the home or elsewhere. If used by law-enforcement oflicers, the balloon need not be entirely deflated in making the test. Sufficient of the breath may be retained in the balloon or sealed in a suitable container, for use as a test sample for subsequent testing in a court.

I claim:

1. The method of detecting whether a human has recently smoked marijuana, which method comprises conveying said humans breath into a reaction vessel and there contacting it with a reagent which reacts with a reagent of the class consisting of cannabidiol, cannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinol, and visually determining whether a reaction has occurred.

2. The method of claim 1 in which a ray of light is passed into the reaction vessel after the reaction to determine whether a reaction has occurred.

3. The method of claim 1 in which the breath is col- 4 lected in a container and it is transferred from there and brought into contact with the reagent.

4. The method of claim 3 in which only a part of the breath collected in the conveyor is transferred and the rest is maintained as a sample.

5. The method of claim 1 in which the breath is reacted with dichloroquinone-4-chloroirnine and the reaction product is reacted with ammonia.

6. The method of claim 1 in which the breath is reacted with 5-nitrosoS-hydroxyquinoline, with subsequent warming and the resulting solution is made basic.

7. The method of claim 1 in which the breath is reacted with an aqueous solution of sulfanilic acid and hydrochloric acid, the solution of the reaction product is treated with a very small amount of aqueous sodium nitrite and. this reaction product is treated with a very small amount of aqueous sodium bicarbonate.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,824,789 2/1958 Borkenstein 23--254 2,972,523 2/1961 Lloyd 23256 3,009,786 11/1961 Luckey 23254 3,476,516 11/1969 Curry 23-254 OTHER REFERENCES Irudayasamy, A., et al.: Analytical Abstracts, vol. 13, No. 6475 (1966).

Miras, C., et al.: Analytical Abstracts, vol 12, No. 2444 1965).

Joachimoglu, G., et al.: Bulletin on Narcotics, vol. 15, No. 3-4, pp. 7-8 (1963).

Miras, C., et al.: Bulletin on Narcotics, vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 13-15 (1964).

MORRIS. O. WOLK, Primary Examiner E. A. KATZ, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.

23-254 R, 232 E, 254 E

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US4771005 *Jun 12, 1984Sep 13, 1988Erez Forensic Technology Ltd.Reagents, test kits and methods for the detection of cannabinoids
US5122341 *Oct 17, 1990Jun 16, 1992Carrier CorporationDevice for gas contaminant tester training
US7096714 *Mar 27, 2002Aug 29, 2006Centre National De La Recherche ScientifiqueVolatile signature detector and associated methods
US20040134273 *Mar 27, 2002Jul 15, 2004Jean- Luc ClementVolatile signature detector and associated methods
DE19607646A1 *Feb 29, 1996Sep 11, 1997Joerg VolkmannDetection of consumption of hashish or marijuana
EP0132313A2 *Jun 26, 1984Jan 30, 1985Erez Forensic Technology Ltd.Reagents, test kits and methods for the detection of cannabinoids
U.S. Classification436/93, 422/85, 422/510
International ClassificationG01N33/497, A61B5/083, G01N31/22
Cooperative ClassificationA61B5/083, G01N33/497, G01N31/22
European ClassificationG01N33/497, A61B5/083, G01N31/22