A simple saliva test has been developed by the researchers at the University of Bath to detect if someone has recently taken the street drug ‘spice’.
The substance known as ‘spice’, is usually a mixture of dried and shredded plant material, sprayed with various synthetic chemicals meant to mimic the main component of cannabis.
These chemicals when smoked, act on the main part of the central nervous system that regulates mood, pain-sensation, appetite, and memory.
The test can be performed on the spot and identifies whether synthetic cannabinoids have been smoked, and if so at what concentration.
To conduct the tests, a saliva sample is taken from the patient and put into a small clear tube.
The tube is then placed into the machine, which then uses light to scan for the fingerprint of a spice compound.
It's the first such test ever created and takes about five minutes. The results come up on a screen linked to the device.