Spice (also known as K2 or Synthetic Cannabis) is a relatively new drug that has become increasing popular as a recreational drug over the last few years. Because the drug has not been around for long, not a lot is known about how it works or how long spice can stay in your body. Spice was one of the first “legal highs” to find favour with drug takers in the UK, (You may want to read our blog post, Is Spice Legal?)
Spice is a drug that is mainly smoked and is made up of one or more synthetic cannabinoids. Because so many brands of spice are available on the market, it is often difficult to know exactly what is in each one without laboratory analysis of the product itself.
When we look at synthetic cannabinoids on their own, we have a better idea of how long each of them can stay in the body. For example, two popularly used synthetic cannabinoids are JWH-018 and JWH-073. Both of these can be detected in your system for up to 72 hours are first being used.
What’s in Spice?
Spice is normally sold in small foil packets that contain dried plant material that has been sprayed with chemicals that we call synthetic cannabinoids. The 5 most often seen synthetic cannabinoids in spice are:
Because these are just five of the many synthetic cannabinoids on the market, it is difficult to determine what exactly is in each packet of Spice without carrying out laboratory tests. (Note: At last count, it was estimated that there were nearly 200 synthetic cannabinoids being produced today.)
What Does Spice Do to Your Body?
The short terms effects of using Spice are very similar to those of cannabis. However, the drug has dangerous side-effects that we are not so clear about, with psychotic episodes being the most concerning.
We can’t always know what is in spice because of the mixture of synthetic cannabinoids vary so much. We do know the drug can be stored in the body for a long time and because of that the long-term effects are not really known.
Spice Drug Testing
Drug testing for spice is still in its infancy and spice drug test kits are only available from specialist suppliers such as Zoom Testing. The typical multi-parameter drug test kit used by most employers will not detect spice. For example, the biggest urine drug test kit that we currently supply doesn’t check for spice.
Just because a typical employer drug test kit does not check for spice does not mean that synthetic cannabinoids will not be tested for by an employers. Many companies are now all too aware of the problem of “legal highs” and will not rely on using just a multi-panel drug test kit that detects traditional illicit drugs. They will employer additional tests, such as a single drug test kit for spice that does detect synthetic cannabinoids.
At present, Zoom Testing offers two types of urine drug test kits for Spice. Both of these kits will detect recent usage of spice and are of the type used by employers who are screening for synthetic cannabinoids. The two drug kits for spice are a single drug test kit and a dual test kit that also checks for cannabis.
How Long Does Spice Stay in Your Body?
Experts are still not 100% sure about the answer to this questions. More research will need to be carried out to establish the effect of the drug in the long term and how the body rids itself of synthetic cannabinoids. The effects of of spice have been reported by some to last for between days and weeks.
Photo by DEA
Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.
This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated since.