Millennium Laboratories Announces Expanded Test Offering for Synthetic Marijuana

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Also known as Spice, illicit substances now easier to detect in urine.

Millennium Laboratories, a leader in the science of toxicology and pharmacogenetics, today announced it has expanded its urine drug test (UDT) offering for synthetic marijuana (i.e., synthetic cannabinoids).

Also known as “Spice” or “K2” and referred to as “fake weed,” synthetic cannabinoids are often available in smoke shops and through the Internet. Typically advertised as incense or potpourri and labeled “not for human consumption,” Spice is typically ingested or smoked. Synthetic cannabinoids are functionally similar to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive substance in marijuana and users experience similar and exaggerated symptoms including altered perception, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, and in some cases, death has been reported (1).

In July 2012, the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 was signed into law in the U.S., banning the synthetic compounds commonly found in Spice products, placing them under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (2). However, abuse of these compounds continues to be a problem (3). Synthetic cannabinoid compounds continue to evolve as those manufacturing and using them specifically look for altered compounds that will evade detection.

Millennium Laboratories introduced a test for Spice in 2011. The company’s scientists, using a unique process, have developed an expanded test for emerging synthetic cannabinoids. This comprehensive urine drug test is now available to health care providers.

"We see the prevalence of this dangerous substance as a major problem in communities across America and we took action to provide a solution for our customers," said Howard Appel, Millennium Laboratories’ president. “Our research and development team of preeminent clinical and analytical chemists are constantly designing, developing and implementing new assays to ensure health care providers can appropriately monitor and treat their patients.”

Millennium’s medication monitoring and drug detection services ensure that health care professionals can choose tests individually, based on medical necessity, rather than being obligated to use a one-size-fits-all, pre-set panel of tests. The company’s test menu continues to expand, reflecting the most commonly prescribed medications and an ever evolving list of illicit drugs and new-to-market medications.

Millennium Laboratories offers tests for close to 100 medications and drugs and utilizes liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) technology for specific drug identification and quantification. The comprehensive, quantified drug/metabolite specific results are delivered generally within one day from receipt of specimen at the laboratory, giving health care professionals an objective picture of the medications and drugs their patients may or may not have used.

(1) Fattore L, Fratta W. Beyond THC: The New Generation of Cannabinoid Designer Drugs. Front Behav Neurosci. 2011;5(60):1-12.

(2) Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Three Synthetic Cathinones Into Schedule I. Available at: Accessed September 20, 2013.

(3) Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice. Schedules of controlled substances: Temporary Placement of Three Synthetic Cathinones in Schedule I. Final Order. Microgram Bulletin. 2011 Nov;44(11):72-85. Accessed September 22, 2013.

About Millennium Laboratories
Millennium Laboratories, a leader in the science of toxicology and pharmacogenetics, is transforming the way health care professionals monitor and manage their patients’ medication therapy. Through the use of advanced technology, supported by research and education, Millennium helps practitioners personalize care for patients. More information can be found at


Nicole Beckstrand
Corporate Communications
Millennium Laboratories

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