May 30, 2023


The Star-Telegram purchased a kit from SwabTek, a San Diego-based company that offers a range of kits for various drugs, including cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin. The newspaper used the kit, which cost $125 and contained 25 THC tests, to investigate the availability of cannabinoids.

 

SwabTek claims its Cannabis Test Kit is a straightforward, disposable testing solution specially created for detecting cannabis. The kit can identify cannabinoids in any sample, such as edibles, vape pens, plant material, and surfaces. The test can detect any cannabinoid present in a sample, including THC, CBD, and other compounds.

Test Kit Components

The test kit comprises two distinct parts – a test card and a test swab. Both components are enclosed in air and water-resistant packaging. The test components should remain functional for at least five years from the delivery date when kept in the original packaging.

 

To conduct the test, the sample is collected using the test swab, and the test card contains the reagent necessary for the process. The testing process can be completed in less than 20 seconds to obtain a result.

 

SwabTek’s products employ non-toxic and non-hazardous solvents and reagents. There is no risk of chemical exposure from SwabTek’s test, but users may wear gloves to safeguard themselves from the sample being tested. The Test Kit is a component of their range of presumptive tests for law enforcement. They are utilized by federal, state, and local departments globally.

Cannabis Testing for Educators

SwabTek’s Cannabis Test Kit provides schools and communities with the means to safeguard teenagers and adolescents against cannabis and its derivatives. The test kit has been used in over 1,200 schools in the United States and utilized by several Drug-Free Communities organizations. The tests are an excellent solution for schools grappling with concerns surrounding suspected cannabis-infused food and drinks or vape pens.

 

As discussed earlier, the tests are devoid of toxic or hazardous materials. As such, they are safe to transport and utilize in schools without endangering students or staff. The sample swab incorporates a non-corrosive and non-toxic solvent for collection, enabling samples to be extracted safely.

 

SwabTek’s Cannabis Test Kit is user-friendly, and free online training is offered to school resource officers, principals, administrators, and teachers, allowing them to become certified users. The tests are practical for screening seized vape pens along with vape detection devices, dog teams, and SROs that may be present on school campuses.

 

By utilizing the test kits, administrators can avoid involving the police in the everyday enforcement of campus drug policy. This helps limit offending students’ engagement with the criminal justice system at their discretion.

Working Principle

SwabTek’s test is tailored to identify cannabinoids, encompassing any cannabis-derived compound, such as Δ-8 THC, Δ-9 THC (the primary psychoactive element in cannabis), Δ-10 THC, CBC, CBD, and CBN.

 

The test will perform a presumptive analysis to verify the existence of these cannabinoids in the sampled portion. Thus, a positive outcome implies a presumption of at least one cannabinoid being present in the sample in a detectable quantity.

 

This test is not intended to identify the particular cannabinoid in the sample or how many cannabinoids might be present. Additionally, the test will not show the amount of the test target present, how it is dispersed throughout the sample, or the potency of the sample.

 

Presumptive tests are not designed to provide definite outcomes nor a substitute for complete laboratory sample analysis. A presumptive test is unsuitable for claiming the safety of substances and cannot be used to establish whether they are legal or illegal.

If the test shows:

  • Positive Result: It can be inferred that a detectable amount of cannabinoids is present in the tested sample.

  • No Result: A cannabinoid cannot be detected in a detectable amount, which means it cannot be inferred to be present. A negative result may indicate the test target is present in an undetectable amount, not present, or present but undetectable due to other reasons.

What the Test Detects

The Cannabis Test Kit is designed to detect cannabinoids, which are the chemical components of the cannabis plant. This makes the test kit suitable for screening plant material and any derivative product containing cannabis oil.

 

This test is capable of detecting various cannabis derivatives such as tinctures, extracts, oils, gels, and creams. It can also see food products containing cannabis oil, such as cookies, brownies, gummies, and candies.

 

The SwabTek Cannabis Test Kit can also detect cannabis oil in vape pens. This includes any leftover oil that may remain even after the cartridge seems to be empty.

Reviewing The THC Test Kit

The THC test kit reviewed by The Star-Telegram focuses on detecting delta-9, the primary chemical responsible for producing a psychoactive effect. In Texas, any product containing more than 0.3% delta-9 by dry weight is considered marijuana and illegal unless prescribed for medical reasons. If it has less than 0.3%, it is classified as hemp.

 

Eleven products obtained from stores across Tarrant County underwent testing. These four gummies can be eaten, and the remaining were oils intended for vaping.

 

During the testing process, it was discovered that the THC tests were less effective with gummy products due to coloured dyes. The coloured pigments interfere with the reading of the test results. We used a cotton swab provided with the kit to wipe the gummies for any oil residue and conducted the THC test to address this issue.

 

Conclusion

Schools and communities can use SwabTek’s Cannabis Test Kit to quickly, safely, and accurately check for the presence of cannabinoids in several goods, including those made from cannabis plants. Even though the test cannot pinpoint the precise type or concentration of cannabinoids in a sample, it can nevertheless yield a presumptive result that can be used to influence choices on drug policy and enforcement.

 

The kit is adaptable and may be used on various items, as demonstrated by the Star-Telegram’s testing, with modest modifications for more complex samples. By implementing this cutting-edge technology, communities and schools may adopt a proactive stance to safeguard children from cannabis’ adverse effects and foster a secure environment.

 

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