Synthetic marijuana test available in Canada
A hospital in Toronto is offering a test to detect the presence of synthetic marijuana in the body.
Last month, Health Canada warned that herbal incense that may give a high similar to marijuana. The agency's warning followed a CBC News investigation into the substances and the legal zone in Canada for the products.
Packages of the herbal incense contain explicit labels that it is not for human consumption. But undercover CBC reporters found stores where staff suggested it is meant to be smoked.
Health Canada says smoking synthetic cannabinoids can result in symptoms that range from seizures to hallucinations to acute psychosis.
On Wednesday, Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health said it is the first clinical lab in the country to offer a test for the presence of the compounds. Until now, it could not be detected without sending urine samples from users to a U.S. lab.
"CAMH's new capacity to test for synthetic marijuana will help clinicians improve client care," Cara Vaccarino, CAMH director of medical affairs, said in a release.
"The test will also help researchers track use rates and inform public health strategies in the community."
Synthetic marijuana is often marketed as "smokeable herbal incense" or "exotic herbal incense."