Cayman Chemical and NPS Discovery at the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE) have developed new, more appropriate names to address the newly emergent “MDA-19” and its related analogues following the systematic convention typically used for synthetic cannabinoid nomenclature.
Synthetic cannabinoids represent a vastly diverse sub-class of novel psychoactive substances (NPS). The turnover of this sub-class is largely linked to drug scheduling actions and, like other sub-classes of NPS, new drugs were historically produced via slight tweaks to the molecular structure. In May 2021, China announced new legislation to control synthetic cannabinoids as a class using commonly encountered structural backbones. This has resulted in the emergence of new generations of synthetic cannabinoids with core components that were previously unencountered and/or not well characterized. An example is “MDA-19” and its related analogues. “MDA-19” is a CB2 agonist and was studied, like many synthetic cannabinoids, under legitimate research for pharmaceutical purposes. Similar to JWH-018 and other early synthetic cannabinoids, naming conventions utilizing the initials of a researcher or organization are not ideal and may be misleading (e.g., the abbreviation “MDA” is also used for the stimulant drug methylenedioxyamphetamine). A well-accepted systematic naming convention exists for synthetic cannabinoids and should be applied, where appropriate, to avoid any confusion or mischaracterization.