Randox Testing Services: The difference between CBD Oil, Cannabis Oil and Hemp Oil

Randox Testing Services: The difference between CBD Oil, Cannabis Oil and Hemp Oil

CBD Oil, Cannabis Oil and Hemp Oil are naturally produced from the plant Cannabis Sativa. This article will aim to distinguish between the different variations, and highlights differences in their use, abuse and legal standing.

Cannabis is the name given to the common drug of abuse, made from various parts of the Cannabis Sativa plant that contain a high level of a chemical called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).  THC is the chemical responsible for most of cannabis’s psychological effects. It stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine and interferes with how information is processed in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for forming new memories. Strains of Cannabis Sativa are specifically bred for their high THC content in resinous glands on their flowers and some leaves.

Cannabis Oil contains a high level of THC and if administered can result in psychoactive effects.   There is a growing movement to legalise THC in the form of oils or capsules for medicinal use (pain relief), however, like cannabis itself, it is currently illegal to possess, or supply cannabis oil in the UK.

CBD (or cannabidiol), like THC, is another chemical component extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant.  Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a ‘high’.  CBD is derived from a specific hemp strain that is high in CBD and low in THC and is extracted from the whole plant (and not just the seed like hemp seed oil).  The use of CBD oil is becoming widespread for its reported health-giving benefits. It is perfectly legal to use (because it contains negligible amounts of THC) and can be purchased from health food shops and on-line.

However, it is also sometimes (mistakenly) referred to as ‘cannabis oil’ which causes confusion.

Hemp is a fast-growing strain of Cannabis Sativa specifically bred for its fibre (for textile use), oils (including CBD oil) and nutritional benefits among its ever-expanding range of uses.  However, hemp is bred to be low in THC.  Hemp seed oil is acquired by pressing the hemp seeds only and contains neither THC nor CBD.  Hemp oil is perfectly legal and you may find it in some health food products or even beauty products.

Effects of Cannabis

Cannabis is the most commonly abused drug in the UK and can produce a range of side-effects including an increased risk of developing a psychotic illness. For an extensive list of the side-effects of regular cannabis use download our free educational resource: http://www.randoxtestingservices.com/download/Effects-of-Cannabis-Poster.pdf

About Randox Testing Services

Randox Testing Services is a market leader in the drug and alcohol testing industry. Our expertise is relied upon by a range of leading safety-critical companies across the world.

We pride ourselves on helping our customers improve the health and safety of their working environment through helping them implement a comprehensive substance misuse policy. As experts in our field we ensure that we are aware of current drug trends and issues that are affecting society.

Contact us today at testingservices@randox.com or call 028 9445 1011 to speak with one of our experts.




Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Medico-legal Market

Medico-legal testing for drugs and alcohol may be required by various professional bodies involved in child custody cases, care proceedings or child protection cases. In cases regarding divorce and children, a dispute may arise during the process of discussions involving the custody of children. In these cases drug and alcohol testing may be sought if there has been a substance abuse claim against a parent fighting for custody or visitation. In cases relating to child protection, social services may seek drug and alcohol testing if child welfare claims have been made regarding suspected substance misuse.

Normally in medico-legal cases a hair sample would be tested as it provides the longest detection window.


Why is Drug and Alcohol Testing in Medico-legal Cases Important?

Drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have a quality of life they deserve. In addition it is also important to enable parents the opportunity to get the help and support they need and begin rehabilitation treatment.

Doing the right thing by the child is the main priority, and where possible parent and child relationships are sought to be maintained. Drug and alcohol testing assists in these efforts and in such cases abstinence monitoring testing may be required to assess a parent’s recovery e.g. if a visitation case is being reassessed.


Our Expertise

At Randox Testing Services we provide drug and alcohol testing to all professionals within the family law and medico-legal sector. Our hair drug testing service utilises accredited testing methods and is made more cost-effective through utilising patented testing methods developed by Randox.

We understand the impact a positive result can have on a parent, child, and extended family and ensure results of the highest precision and accuracy. With over 35 years’ experience in the diagnostic industry we have gained reputation as a trusted provider.

Our drug and alcohol testing solutions are flexible and can be tailored to our customer needs with a choice of testing methods. We offer a comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu and our service also includes expert witness reporting where applicable.


Contact Us

To speak to one of our experts about hair drug testing contact enquiries@randoxtesting.com or call +44 (0) 161 741 2760. We work with companies within the medico-legal sector along with a wide range of workplaces and also private individuals.

For further information on RTS, or to arrange interviews, please contact the Randox PR team via email: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413

No connection between whistle-blower RTS and the now-defunct Trimega Laboratories

RTS, the whistle-blower which exposed alleged data manipulation in the forensics industry, would like to highlight to our customers and clients that there is no connection between it and the now-defunct Trimega Laboratories.

Trimega went into administration in April 2014. The administrators were KPMG.

RTS purchased some laboratory equipment from KPMG and moved onto the vacant laboratory premises in Manchester. RTS did not take-over Trimega’s business or order book. In contrast to Trimega which was wholly engaged in testing for family law, RTS was significantly engaged in criminal law, only taking on a minimal number of family law cases.
A small number of former Trimega staff were employed by RTS. Two of these former Trimega workers were dismissed by RTS after the alleged data manipulation was uncovered and reported.
Since acting as whistle-blower, RTS has fully supported the police investigation. At the NPCC media briefing on November 21st 2017, the NPCC publicly acknowledged this support and said RTS was “reputable, professional and responsible.”

The authorities have concluded the prioritising of all RTS cases for re-testing, including forensic and family law, and the process is underway. RTS is managing this at appropriately accredited external laboratories and is covering the necessary costs. To date all priority one and two re-testing not resulted in any criminal case being overturned. All affected parties have been kept informed of the process.

On November 21st 2017, the UK Government revealed that an official investigation into alleged data manipulation at Trimega between 2010 – 2014 was underway.
RTS cannot comment on the scale or timetable for re-testing of family law results provided by Trimega. The government has requested that the public self-report if Trimega was involved in their case as poor record-keeping by the laboratory means the number of Trimega customers and identities may never be known.

RTS has no responsibility for any alleged data manipulation which occurred at Trimega.

Randox Testing Services (RTS) are the whistleblower and initiated the police forensic investigation. RTS support to police ongoing.

  • RTS is the whistle-blower in this issue of forensic manipulation.
  • In January 2017, RTS investigated an anomaly in a forensic report, identified manipulation of quality control data and immediately reported this to the police, accreditation agency and the forensic science regulator.
  • This activity had not been identified in numerous external audits by the accreditation agency, other forensic science providers, or by defence experts in numerous cases.
  • RTS are working with Greater Manchester Police, the Forensic Service Regulator and the Home Office to resolve the situation. The investigation now dates beyond RTS to laboratories which are unconnected to it. However, it was RTS action that identified this activity.
  • RTS remain actively engaged with all the appropriate agencies to resolve the outstanding issues and are committed to supporting the criminal justice system.
  • RTS is currently managing the process of retesting samples at appropriately accredited laboratories, as well as covering the associated costs.
  • Two former employees remain on police bail. All appropriate pre-employment checks were conducted.
  • RTS are new to the forensic science industry. The majority of staff were employed with experience from elsewhere in the forensic science industry, from both the public and private sectors.
  • In light of these circumstance RTS volunteered and agreed to the suspension of the related forensic accreditation in RTS laboratories only. All other Randox laboratories are unaffected.

Randox celebrates British Science Week 2017

Randox celebrates British Science Week 2017


Last week was British Science Week 2017, an annual campaign that aims to inspire innovation and celebrate science. To mark the occasion, Randox Laboratories got involved by celebrating the innovation of each Randox product group. The product groups within Randox shared a series of posts, videos and blogs showcasing the #ScienceBehindRandox throughout British Science Week.


To initiate the Randox British Science Week campaign, Randox shared this video, which highlights the company’s dedication to improving health worldwide. The video provides an introduction about each product group, however throughout British Science Week, each product group has gone into further detail about the #ScienceBehindRandox.

Randox Careers, the RX series, Randox Reagents, Randox Quality Control, Randox Toxicology, Randox Biosciences, Randox Testing Services, & Randox Food Diagnostics all got involved in the British Science Week Campaign. You can read a snippet of each product groups post below, with videos and links to the full content also provided. We hope you enjoy learning about the #ScienceBehindRandox.

Randox – Dedicated to improving health wordwide.

Randox Careers

Joanne Darragh spent some time with Randox Careers to discuss her role as R&D Toxicology Manager.

“Working in this area has been both challenging and exciting as we are at the cutting edge of assay development.  We work in a great team and we work along very closely alongside other departments such as Marketing & Sales so that we are in close contact with what the customer needs, which means we are producing relevant tests very quickly and effectively.  Every day brings a new challenge.”

– Joanne Darragh, R&D Toxicology Manager

Listen to what Joanne had to say on the video above

Randox RX series

As part of British Science Week, the RX series caught up with Daniel Melly, one of our very talented Mechanical Design Engineers based in Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, Ireland.

Daniel was an integral part of the team involved in the design of our new semi-automated analyser, the RX misano. The RX series asked Daniel a few questions about why Randox created this analyser, the design process involved in creating such a unique system, and what his favourite features are.

Randox set out in creating the RX misano with the philosophy of supplying the customer with a more modern, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing analyser than those that are currently available on the market. Robust part selection was always at the fore of any design decisions, and we feel that we have delivered on all of these requirements.” 

– Daniel Melly, Randox Mechanical Design Engineer

Read the full interview the RX series had with Daniel here

The RX misano is currently unavailable to purchase in Germany

Randox Reagents

One unique test by Randox, adiponectin, is becoming an increasingly significant biomarker for health professionals. Low levels have been linked with several illnesses including metabolic syndrome, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

What is adiponectin?

Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced and secreted by fat cells called adipose tissue. Adiponectin is normally found in relatively high concentrations in healthy individuals. Its role in the body is to regulate the metabolism of lipids and glucose, which influences the body’s response to insulin and inflammation.

At Randox, our R&D Scientists are helping to change healthcare. By investing heavily into research and development to develop unique diagnostics tests, such as the adiponectin test, Randox provide doctors with the ability to identify disease risk sooner- offering the opportunity to prevent illness, rather than the need to find a cure.


Read the full Randox Reagents blog entry here

Randox Quality Control

One Simple Change to Randox Quality Control can save your laboratory time and money.

Randox Quality Control are a world leading manufacturer of true third party controls with over 390 analytes covering Antioxidants,  Blood Gas, Cardiac Markers, Routine Chemistry, Coagulation, Haematology, Diabetes, Immunoassay, Immunology, Lipids, POCT, Therapeutic Drugs, Toxicology and Urine Chemistry, providing complete test menu consolidation. Randox Quality Control produces the most consistent material available with the most accurate target values.

Randox Quality Control guarantee to simplify QC practice in any laboratory, just ask one of their 60,000 users worldwide.

Find out more information about Randox Quality Control in the video above

Randox Toxicology

Randox Toxicology provides trusted solutions for the screening for drugs of abuse. With significant reinvestment in Research and Development, we persistently stay ahead of this ever challenging market.  Being the first to develop New Psychoactive Substances tests such as fentanyl, bath salts and flakka allows us to maintain our position as a global leader.

Our pioneering technology has created a number of advancements in the field of toxicology. In particular, our patented Biochip Array Technology which can simultaneously screen from a multi-analyte testing platform, achieving a complete immunoassay profile from the initial screening phase.

Read the full Randox Toxicology blog post here

Randox Biosciences

During British Science Week, we are delighted to introduce you to our latest development utilising this technology; our Gastropanel Array,* a multiplex test engineered to diagnose those at risk of developing peptic ulcers and gastric cancer using non-invasive methods.

Our Gastropanel Array encompasses two quantitative assays, a H. pylori assay  for the detection of antibodies produced in response to a H. pylori infection, a common cause of gastric cancer1 as well as a 3plex Gastropanel assay, for the detection of pepsinogen I (PGI), pepsinogen II (PGII) and gastrin 17 (G17).

Currently recorded as the world’s 5th most common cancer, the majority of gastric cancer cases are diagnosed after presenting as an emergency, when treatment may be less effective due to the cancer being at an advanced stage, highlighting the need for the availability of diagnostics tests like our Gastropanel Array to enable practitioners to administer prompt treatment and ultimately increase survival rates on a global scale.

Read the full Randox Biosciences blog here

Randox Testing Services

Randox Testing Services have shown how they are at the forefront of continually reacting and developing tests for NPS. NPS (formerley known as Legal Highs) have had devastating effects on users since emerging in the UK in 2008. These substances are highly dangerous and have caused unnecessary deaths. This is due to the effects from different elements used in production. Legislation concerning the substances changed in 2016 with the implementation of the Psychoactive Substance Act.

How have Randox Testing Services implemented change? Find out in the video above

Randox Food Diagnostics

Of the 41 antibiotics that are approved for use in food-producing animals by the FDA, 31 are medically important for human health. Randox Food Diagnostics provides advanced screening solutions for 94% of these antibiotics including beta-lactams, quinolones and tetracyclines, allowing you to ensure the integrity of your end product without compromising quality. Randox Food provides multiplex screening solutions validated across a range of matrices including urine, serum, tissue, milk, honey and feed.

The Evidence Investigator matched with Biochip Array Technology (BAT) provide the end user with fast, reliable results to aid in ensuring your produce is antibiotic free. BAT provides a platform for the simultaneous determination of multiple drug residues from a single sample using miniaturised immunoassays with implications in the reduction of sample/reagent consumption and an increase in the output of test results. 

To read Randox Food Diagnostics full blog click here

We hope you enjoyed our informative British Science Week content from each of our Product Groups.

Look out for our Quiz later this week to test your knowledge on the #ScienceBehindRandox

Follow Randox on Social Media: 

BBC Newsline investigates legal highs with Randox Testing Services

This week, Randox Testing Services opened the doors of its laboratory to BBC Newsline, and Donna Traynor, to offer an expert opinion on legal highs.  Legal highs are mood-altering or stimulant substances whose sale is not banned by current legislation. They are made up of various chemical ingredients and replicate a similar user experience of illegal drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine. They are extremely addictive and can have fatal side effects.

April 2016 marks the anniversary of one such case. The tragic passing of Adam Owens, a 17 year old boy who died after taking a legal high known as Sky brought this issue to the spotlight, and now one year on, the BBC want to know what is being done to tackle this issue.

The most difficult issue to combat with legal highs is that their chemical make-up is constantly being altered in order to get around legislation. As they keep changing it is difficult to create tests for these substances as they constantly evolve. Addressing this issue, Dr Mark Piper, Head of Toxicology at Randox Testing Services explained what is currently being done to try and counter this problem:

“We counter it here at Randox by continually developing new tests. In the past 12 months, Randox has developed over 115 new tests for new types of psychoactive substances.

These drugs are continually being developed and evolving into new types of substances which have previously fallen outside of the legislation, so it is a challenge for the likes of ourselves as drug testing laboratories to continually develop new tests to detect these substances.”

The prevalence of legal high use makes this an issue that cannot be avoided. Randox Testing Services are dedicated in their commitment to continually develop new tests in the fight against legal highs.

For more information on our services related to legal highs click here or contact testingservices@randox.com

NI company Randox bucks the trend in providing forensic services to GB police forces

Leading forensic toxicology company, Randox, are riding high despite a recent National Audit Office report which raised concerns about a reducing marketplace for private forensic services.

The Co. Antrim-based company are bucking the trend and growing market-share, and in 2014 provided forensic services to all 43 police forces across England and Wales.

Recently the NAO raised concerns that a shrinking private forensic marketplace will result in reduced capacity, and detrimentally impact the judicial process. 

At present UK police forces can either conduct forensic toxicology testing in-house, where such laboratory facilities exist, or outsource the work to one of ten fully-accredited service providers – including Randox – through the National Forensic Framework procurement process.

Under the Framework, all private forensic service providers must be fully accredited, which is a costly process but ensures that rigorous practices are upheld. The NAO highlights that the Forensic Regulator does not have powers to force police labs to comply with accreditation standards. 

As police budgets are cut and more forensics are brought in-house, expenditure on private sector forensic services have declined significantly, to around £60m a year. 

NAO highlights a growing concern in the industry that if forensic services continue to move in-house this will force some private operators to pull out of the market. 

Gary McCutcheon, Manager of Randox Testing Services said: 

“Randox is extremely proud to be one of only 10 forensic providers on the National Forensic Framework: all 43 police services in England and Wales have used Randox’s forensic toxicology services. The fact we are now an established provider, meeting and exceeding standards, means we are a major player and puts us in a strong position going forward.

“Having achieved considerable success in GB police forces we are in a strong position, when circumstances allow, to provide the same first class services and considerable cost savings to forensic toxicology users in Northern Ireland.”

Clinical Laboratory Survey