K2-IISynthetic cannabinoids, also known as K2 or Spice, are not included in most routine drug test panels because they require specialized, more expensive testing.

Furthermore, studies have shown that the types and amounts of synthetic cannabinoid (SC) metabolites can vary greatly between products, lots, and even within the same package, making it difficult to decide which specific SC metabolite should be included in drug testing programs.

Some SC users use the drug as a substitute for marijuana to avoid positive drug tests, according a qualitative study of SC users in Southern California. The study found that:

The authors note that while synthetic cannabinoid products are labeled as not being for human consumption and thus cannot be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “this tactic for circumventing the law does not appear to detract potential users form purchasing and consuming these untested, unknown and potentially harmful substances”.

SOURCE:  Adapted by CESAR from Perrone, D., Helgesen, R.D., and Fischer, R.G., “United States Drug Prohibition and Legal Highs: How Drug Testing May Lead Cannabis Users to Spice,” Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy