Drug Screening: Testing for Synthetic Cannabinoids Available

Synthetic cannabinoids are sold as “herbal incense” and resemble potpourri. They have gained media attention in recent years as a “legal high.” While most of the substances are not actually cannabinoids, they act on the same receptor in the human body as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient in marijuana, and produce psychoactive effects similar to marijuana.

Some of the more common product names include K2 (K3, K4), Spice, Bliss, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Fake Weed, Genie, Mad Hatter, Rocket Engine and Sky. Marketed as “safe” highs, synthetic cannabinoids are commonly purchased in head shops, tobacco shops, various retail outlets and on the internet.

Urine testing for the synthetic cannabinoids panel is screened using Liquid Chromatography tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Any non-negative drug screen is also confirmed by LC/MS/MS – the newest lab-based urine drug testing technology.

Learn More: Synthetic Cannabinoids Fact Sheet from Quest Diagnostics

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