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Forensic Analysis of Salvia Divinorum Using Multivariate Statistical Procedures. Part II: Association of Adulterated Samples to S. Divinorum

NCJ Number
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry Volume: 402 Dated: 2012 Pages: 843-850
Date Published
8 pages

This publication provides a forensic analysis of Salvia divinorum using multivariate statistical procedures.


In this study, S. divinorum was extracted and spiked onto four different plant materials (S. divinorum, Salvia officinalis, Cannabis sativa, and Nicotiana tabacum) to simulate an adulterated sample that might be encountered in a forensic laboratory. Salvia divinorum is a plant material of forensic interest due to the hallucinogenic nature of the active ingredient, salvinorin A. The adulterated samples were extracted and analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, and the resulting total ion chromatograms were subjected to a series of pretreatment procedures that were used to minimize non-chemical sources of variance in the data set. The data were then analyzed using principal components analysis (PCA) to investigate association of the adulterated extracts to unadulterated S. divinorum. While association was possible based on visual assessment of the PCA scores plot, additional procedures including Euclidean distance measurement, hierarchical cluster analysis, Student’s t tests, Wilcoxon rank-sum tests, and Pearson product moment correlation were also applied to the PCA scores to provide a statistical evaluation of the association observed. The advantages and limitations of each statistical procedure in a forensic context were compared and are presented herein. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2012