Cannabix Achieves New Benchmark for FAIMS Marijuana Breathalyzer Technology

Published: October 28, 2021

Cannabix Achieves New Benchmark for FAIMS Marijuana Breathalyzer Technology

Cannabix Technologies Inc., developer of marijuana breathalyzer devices for law enforcement and the workplace reports that engineers have made major advancements on its high-field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry (“FAIMS”) breathalyzer for analyte sensitivity and portability.

In recent live breath testing of marijuana smokers, the Cannabix FAIMS bench device has demonstrated the sensitivity, resolution and discrete responses needed to isolate ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) – the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes impairment as well as other key marijuana metabolites (such as 11-hydroxy THC) and other cannabinoids from the thousands of other compounds present in breath. This kind of selectivity is significant because it provides far more pharmacokinetic information than detection of THC alone, and can allow for greater discernment of a subject’s recency of cannabis use.  This has been achieved with a testing set up requiring only a few breaths which is collected and analyzed on-site within seconds, without any sample preparation needed. Development of the Cannabix FAIMS drug screen device is aimed primarily for the law enforcement market.

Furthermore, over recent months engineers have focussed on systematically reducing the size of the FAIMS electronics and components, and developing a fully battery powered system, further paving the way for a portable device. Engineers are building a novel system that meets the power and heat dissipation requirements in the field for a complex high voltage square wave generator. Critical achievements in relation to power supply, air flow, cooling, electronics and detector module are well underway and showing promising early results.

Cannabix is using its FAIMS technology to detect ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), a non-volatile compound, in breath. Breath testing for THC would allow law enforcement to identify recent marijuana use that better aligns with impairment. The Cannabix device has been designed and built in a series of modules that together allow for sample intake, ionization, filtering and detection – all done under atmospheric pressure. In particular, the device uses ion mobility filtering techniques (related to mass spectrometry – the gold standard analytical technique for molecular detection). In addition, the device has the ability to couple directly to a mass spectrometer in order for chemical species validation.

About Cannabix Technologies Inc.
Cannabix Technologies Inc. is a developer of marijuana breathalyzer technologies for law enforcement and the workplace. Cannabix is working to develop drug-screening devices that will detect THC – the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes impairment using breath samples. Breath testing for THC would allow employers and law enforcement to identify recent marijuana use that better aligns with impairment. Cannabix devices are in the advanced prototype and pre-clinical testing stage.

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