TORONTO, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The Centre for Addiction and Mental
Health (CAMH) is the first clinical lab in Canada to offer a test to
detect the presence of synthetic marijuana in the body. Health Canada
recently issued a warning about the dangers of herbal products combined
with cannabis-like chemical compounds, scientifically known as
synthetic cannabinoids, being sold in stores.
More potent and resulting in more adverse effects than more natural
marijuana, synthetic cannabis has been linked to hallucinations,
hypertension, chest pain, acute psychosis, seizures, and even suicides,
according to Health Canada. Such newly created chemical compounds
require new tests to detect them. Until now, synthetic marijuana could
not be detected in the body of consumers without sending their urine
away to a U.S. laboratory for testing.
"CAMH's new capacity to test for synthetic marijuana will help
clinicians improve client care," said Cara Vaccarino, CAMH Director of
Medical Affairs. "The test will also help researchers track use rates
and inform public health strategies in the community. As the only lab
in Canada capable of carrying out this test, CAMH will be a resource to
other hospitals across the country requiring the test."
This test will help physicians, nurses and clinicians link laboratory
results to unexplained clinical symptoms. Even in the absence of
symptoms, positive lab results can provide evidence of consumption and
allow health care providers to advise clients of the potential dangers
of these products.
"The ability to carry out this new test at CAMH gives us the unique
potential of identifying an unlimited number of synthetic compounds
from the JWH family of chemicals found in these herbal products, which
can help us stay ahead of the manufacturers," said Cara Vaccarino.
"This will also enable us to expedite test results. We no longer have
to send samples to the United States and wait several weeks for
Synthetic marijuana is often marketed as "smokeable herbal incense" or
"exotic herbal incense," but these seemingly benign herbal products can
have serious consequences for those who use them.
CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and
health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by
mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the
University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World
Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please
SOURCE: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
For further information:
Media contact: Michael Torres; (416) 595-6015; firstname.lastname@example.org.