A new marijuana breath analyzer moves closer to becoming a reality

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Science is helping to prevent cannabis-impaired driving

Breathalyzers have been in use for over 100 years at this point and not all small problems have been solved. The testing equipment used by the police is often not calibrated or not properly maintained. Even so, they remain a useful tool for detecting road misbehavior. For several years now, this has wanted to be implemented in a similar way in cannabis. It seems that scientists are getting closer and closer to creating a marijuana breathalyzer.

A team of chemists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have been looking to create this device, which has been sorely needed in the community. With several investigations shedding positive light, it seems that they are getting closer to creating a tool similar to a breathalyzer. The idea is to be able to detect and measure the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a person’s breath after smoking cannabis.

Professor of organic chemistry at this prestigious university, Neil Garg, has joined forces with researchers at UCLA startup ElectraTect Inc. to develop this product. In a paper published in the journal Organic Letters, the experts describe the process by which THC introduced into a solution can be oxidized in their lab-created device.

As a result of this process, an electrical reaction is observed whose intensity is able to determine the amount of the psychoactive compound present in the human being. Considering that legalization could still be at its peak, a device like this could contribute to making the roads safer.