Workplace drug tests target synthetic cannabinoids

on-site drug testing, drug free workplace, workplace drug testThe death last year of a Western Australian man just hours after smoking synthetic cannabis highlighted the danger of this designer drug. Its appearance on work sites – in an attempt to evade on-site drug testing – prompted tighter regulations.

Synthetic cannabis drug Kronic may have crept onto the market under the radar about five years ago but it didn’t take long for authorities to be concerned.

Its appearance at mine sites prompted regulators to ban substances found in the drug, which imitates the effects of cannabis but in early days was undetectable in workplace drug testing.

The WA Government extended its list of banned synthetic cannabinoids following a man’s death just hours after smoking synthetic cannabis last year.

WA became the first state in Australia to ban the sale of products containing synthetic cannabinoids, which have been marketed under names such as Kronic, Spice, K2, Kalma, Voodoo, Kaos and Mango Kush.

Other states have also made the sale and use of synthetic cannabis illegal.

Synthetic cannabis was sold legally for about four years in retail outlets such as adult stores and tobacconists. Despite being marketed as ‘fragrance oil’ or ‘incense’, users were smoking the drugsto get a legal high. For many the intent was to avoid on-site drug testing detection in industries such as mining or construction.

According to leading Australian drug test supplier CMM Technology, drug test equipment has caught up with the problem of synthetic cannabis. CMM’s Synthetic Cannabis Saliva Test Kit has been designed to detect drugs previously undetectable by conventional tests.

CMM Technology’s comprehensive drug testing kits accurately detect synthetic cannabinoids from both saliva and urine samples.

The ban of key products contained in Kronic in Western Australia led to the development of ‘new formulas’ such as Kronic Black Label. Authorities were quick to move to extend the ban, following the lead of the United Kingdom and Europe.

The Australian Drug Foundation has recently launched a campaign to highlight the dangers of so-called ‘legal highs’.

It claims they can lead to paranoia, irritability, restlessness and racing thoughts and in more extreme cases can produce chest pains, vomiting, seizures and drowsiness.

The Western Australian branch of the Australian Medical Association says despite claims by Kronic’s manufacturers, the drug had serious side-effects and was linked to hospital emergency department admissions.

Synthetic cannabinoids were developed for research and medical purposes in the United States during the 1980s.

A death linked to so-called ‘legal weed’ highlighted the danger of this drug, which can now be detected by sophisticated drug test equipment. For more information on how to provide a drug free workplace contact CMM Technology on 1300 79 70 30 or email


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