A growing drug trend in UK jails has recently been identified. Synthetic Cannabis, often called “Black Mamba” or “Spice” has become an increasing problem in the institutions, with more and more prisoners using the drug as then developing health problems, either physical or mental ones.
The rise in popularity of synthetic cannabis amongst the prison population can be attributed to the fact that it is relatively easy to smuggle inside of the building, especially if prison staff are not carrying our random tests on products that enter the prison which could contain synthetic cannabis.
Often synthetic cannabis is smuggled in with rolling tobacco. It has no smell so it is hard to detect, even when it is being smoked.
In May 2014, The Guardian reported that 28 prisons now had a recognised problem with synthetic cannabis.
What is Synthetic Cannabis?
Cannabis of this type is, by it’s very name, synthetic. It is manufactured in a laboratory rather than grown. The drug has been around for a few years now and was one of the first legal high’s of this century before being outlawed in most countries. As a drug it produces a similar experience for the user as traditional cannabis. However, the worry with the drug is that the long term health risks of using it are unknown. Short term it is also problematic with many health problems being documented.
Testing for Synthetic Cannabis in Prisons
Many prisons now have started to test using a presumptive test kit for synthetic cannabis. The leading drug test kit for synthetic cannabis is manufactured in Europe by MMC International and sold in the UK by Zoom Testing.
The spice test kit is simple to use. A small amount of the suspect material is added into a small glass ampoule that contains a liquid designed to identify the drug. Once, mixed, the liquid in the ampoule changes colour. A colour chart is supplied with the test kit and the correct synthetic cannabinoid can be identified, depending on the colour change. The test currently identifies 7 of the most popular types of synthetic cannabis.
Synthetic Cannabis Tests for Prisons
Zoom Testing currently supplies synthetic cannabis tests to UK prisons. If your prison needs to test for synthetic cannabis, please contact us for special pricing and delivery terms.