INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –
As Indiana is about to join more than a dozen states to ban the sale of K2 incense/Spice, AIT Laboratories becomes one of the first reference laboratories in the nation to offer
urine testing for synthetic marijuana, most commonly known as K2/Spice. In February, the company also announced that it was offering blood testing for the two chemicals used to make herbal incense or “fake pot” products: JWH-018 and JWH-073. AIT, an employee-owned company, is an independent reference laboratory specializing in compliance monitoring, forensics, clinical, and pharmaceutical testing.
AIT’s clients, who include medical examiners, coroners, attorneys, and physicians, have asked for this type of testing because of the growing problem nationwide. “Coroners are looking for evidence of what may have caused someone to die, while physicians prescribing pain medications to their patients will use our testing to determine that their patients are not mixing synthetic marijuana with their prescribed pain medications,” said AIT Toxicologist Kevin Shanks, who developed the testing.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved K2 incense/Spice, or any other type of incense, for human consumption. “The effects of using synthetic marijuana can be much more severe compared to THC, and the fact that it is still so readily available is even more of a concern,” said AIT Toxicologist Gene Schwilke, Ph.D. Synthetic marijuana can cause panic attacks, increased paranoia, increased agitation, respiratory issues, severely impaired motor skills, and inhibited cognitive function.
“Developing the assays was a difficult process, but providing both matrices to clients may broaden the window of detecting exposure,” said Shanks.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is currently using its emergency scheduling authority to temporarily control five chemicals (JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47, 497, and cannabicyclohexanol) used to make “fake pot” products. Except as authorized by law, this action will make possessing and selling these chemicals, or products that contain them, illegal in the U.S. for at least one year while the DEA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further study whether these chemicals and products should be permanently controlled.
To date, more than a dozen states have already taken action to control one or more of these chemicals and others are considering bills to outlaw the chemicals. The ban in Indiana takes effect on July 1, 2011.
About AIT Laboratories:
AIT Laboratories, headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., is an independent reference laboratory that is a premiere testing and research institution recognized nationwide for superior customer service and quality in testing. AIT specializes in compliance testing, forensic toxicology drug testing, clinical laboratory testing, and pharmaceutical testing. The employee-owned company has been recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the top 5,000 fastest-growing, private companies in the nation for four consecutive years. In 2009, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce named AIT as the “Small Business of The Year.” Learn more about AIT Laboratories at www.AITLabs.com and AIT Bioscience at www.AITBioscience.com. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.