Cansford Labs - The Drug and Alcohol Testing Blog

CBD and THC oils: What's the difference and should you be testing for them?

Posted by John Wicks on Oct 18, 2018

While cannabis is being legalised across the US and beyond, there’s no sign of it happening in the UK any time soon - at least, not for recreational use. Medicinal cannabis is a different matter: this summer, a 12-year-old in Northern Ireland was granted an emergency licence to treat his rare form of epilepsy with cannabis oil.

There are two forms of cannabis oil, CBD and THC: the former legal, the latter an illegal substance (and the oil that 12-year old Billy was prescribed). But what is the difference between the two, and should family lawyers, workplaces and social workers be testing for them?

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Testing testing: The UK’s varied drug habit and why you might be testing for the wrong things

Posted by John Wicks on Aug 30, 2018

Growing evidence suggests that drug habits in the UK are slowly changing, with misuse of prescription painkillers becoming more prevalent even though overall drug use continues to decline.

Meanwhile, New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) - 'legal highs' like Spice that mimic the effect of existing drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine -  continue to be widely available and widely popular.

But is drug testing in the UK, and particularly in family courts, reflecting these trends?

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Cansford says: Exploring Australian moves to drug test welfare recipients

Posted by John Wicks on Jul 6, 2018

In May 2017, the Australian government revealed plans to drug test welfare claimants. This politically divisive move has been the subject of significant discussion – and indeed criticism – across the Australian media. The argument has, in part, been one of cause and effect. Are drug users on welfare because they are drug users, or are they drug users because they are on welfare, because they are vulnerable, because they are at risk?

Some commentators have been at pains to point out the link between drug use and mental illness. Leading Australian mental health expert, Professor Patrick McGorry, described the plan as “an absolute disgrace,” asserting that “it fails to recognise that mental illness and drug and alcohol problems nearly always coexist, they’re a health problem and not a lifestyle choice.”

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Cansford says: Launch of world’s first fingerprint-based drug use confirmation test

Posted by John Wicks on Jun 8, 2018

If you want to find out drug levels in someone’s system, you have a few different options. You can analyse a sample of their urine, blood, sweat, breath or, of course, hair. Each will give you a picture of when the person used drugs, and the amount.

Not all tests give you the same information. Some tests, such as blood or saliva tests, give a small window of insight into a user’s drug use – hours and days. Others, like hair testing can analyse drug use over a longer period – weeks and months.

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[Cansford says] Norway's drug policies

Posted by John Wicks on May 23, 2018

Norway has made a bold change to its drug policy. The Scandinavian country, voted the happiest in the world in 2017, has recently decided to make its drug policies a public health - rather than a criminal - matter.

Following a letter to Norway's health minister Bent Høie, policymakers and stakeholders from several countries outlined ways in which to make the policy reform successful, designing a template for other countries to follow.

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Many leading experts support Norway’s decision, which has followed in the footsteps of Portugal – the first country to decriminalise drug use back in 2001. Countries such as Ireland and France are also now moving towards decriminalisation. The UK however, is not.

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