Is there a way to drug test for recreational cannabis misuse?
Legally sold Cannabis in the UK is regulated, and its constituents and proportions are known.
However, street cannabis is unregulated. So the “doses” of cannabinoids within the community vary considerably.
Drug testing for recreational Cannabis misuse
We occasionally have drug test samples where cannabis misuse is declared, but none of the tested cannabinoids is detected above the cut-offs.
What Cannabinoids do we drug test?
At Atkinson Lewis, the cannabinoids tested are; Cannabidiol, Cannabinol, and Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The THC metabolite 11-Nor-delta9-THC-carboxylic Acid is also tested.
What levels of Cannabis are seen as recreational use?
Much research has argued that conclusions about patterns of misuse can be inferred from levels detected. However, at Atkinson Lewis, opinions are based on other parameters.
Most importantly, the comparative proportions of these constituents are considered. The constituent THC is clinically demonstrated to be more associated with the development of tolerance and dependency. While other cannabinoids found in legal cannabis are less likely to result in detrimental psychological effects.
Declared patterns of misuse, other substance misuses, and prescribed medications are also factors to consider. Therefore, individual levels are not considered in isolation.
Why forensic drug tests should only be seen as part of the evidential picture
With the use of medical interpretation, we look beyond the lab results. By looking at the client as an individual and looking at their drug patterns.
When it comes to child protection, this allows the family court to make a more informed and fair decision.
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