Greenhouse Canada

Marijuana breathalyser being developed in B.C.

March 31, 2016  By Dave Harrison

March 29, 2016, Vancouver — Cannabix Technologies Inc. provided an update on its development of a marijuana breathalyser at the recent PITTCON 2016 conference in Atlanta.

PITTCON is one of the world’s largest annual premier conference and expositions on laboratory science.

Cannabix and University of Florida researchers (UF) were invited to present the state of the art technology at sessions focused on drugged driving and illicit drug detection.


Dr. Jared Boock gave a talk titled “ Detection of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and  Related Compounds in Human Breath Using High-Field Asymmetric Waveform Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS).”

The presentation outlined how Cannabix and University of Florida researchers have made significant headway toward the development of an innovative FAIMS-based instrument for the detection of THC in human breath.

PITTCON also provided Cannabix with the opportunity to cultivate strategic alliances with groups interested in advancing the implementation of breath-based drug detection for law enforcement.

Cannabix management and University of Florida chemists have confirmed the ability to specifically detect THC at standard temperature and pressure using their unique FAIMS cell coupled with mass spectrometry (FAIMS-MS).

The researchers have successfully isolated THC and THC-related byproducts in controlled simulated breath samples, with the current FAIM-MS configuration demonstrating THC detection limits which are at least 10 times more sensitive than previously reported in the  exhaled breath literature.

The company also reports that it has been evaluating the feasibility of detecting other volatile compounds of interest using FAIMS-MS with promising  preliminary results for cocaine models in simulated breath samples.
Development of the Cannabix instrument is rapidly advanci ng. Many proprietary components, such as a high-voltage generator,  non radioactive ionization source, and array detector are being integrated with the novel  FAIMS cell to provide the most technologically advanced FAIMS-based instrument in the world.
“Development of a standalone FAIMS-based device for trace detection of THC in breath is progressing well,” said Dr. Raj Attariwala, Cannabix’s chief scientific officer.

“With the expertise of the Yost lab at UF, we have demonstrated the unique ability to have a device which allows real time analysis of exhaled breath without any cumbersome extraction techniques.”


Cannabix Technologies Inc. is a leader in marijuana breathalyzer development for law enforcement and the workplace.

Cannabix has established breath-testing technologies in the pursuit of bringing durable, portable hand-held tools to market to enhance detection of marijuana impaired driving offences on roads at a time when  marijuana is becoming legal in many jurisdictions globally.

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