UCLA scientists approach marijuana breathalyzers from a different angle

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The solution would rely on an electrical reaction following oxidation of THC

A group of chemists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have wanted to delve into a device that has been much needed in the community, a marijuana breathalyzer. After conducting several investigations, it seems that they are now one step closer to creating a tool similar to an alcohol breathalyzer. The idea is to be able to detect and measure the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a person’s breath after smoking cannabis.

Neil Garg, professor of organic chemistry at this prestigious university, has teamed up with researchers from the UCLA startup ElectraTect Inc. in order to develop this product once and for all. In an article 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, an electrical reaction is seen whose intensity is able to determine the amount of psychoactive compound present.

As time has passed, decriminalization and/or legalization continues to reach a large number of states in the country. That is why, according to researchers, having access to a device similar to a breathalyzer could help keep the roads at a high level of safety.

While the effects are not very serious, different studies have indicated that cannabis use affects certain driving skills. This can clearly make the risk of accidents much higher in the country. A tool that manages to control all this would be beneficial at a social level and that is why UCLA will continue to work day and night to find an effective solution.