By the time law enforcement officials have identified a compound and developed a test for it, the chemists who produce these synthetic cannabinoids have changed their recipes or created new compounds.
Since the drug first became popular in the mid-2000s, law enforcement officials have been one step behind.
But that could soon change.
Army researchers are in final stages of constructing a portable handheld device that harnesses the body's reaction to all synthetic cannabinoids. It will be the first field-ready Spice detector, and Army officials hope to have a working prototype by the end of 2014.