05/20/2014 12:13 pm ET Updated Jul 20, 2014

Is Synthetic Cannabinoid Use Gaining Popularity Among Military Personnel?

According to a soon-to-be-published study conducted at the University of Washington, synthetic cannabinoids are the new drug of choice among military personnel looking for a buzz and attempting to evade regular tox-screenings.

Researchers at said university initially set out to examine treatment options for narcotics-using soldiers, but once they learned that an extraordinary number of military personnel where using synthetic drugs in order to achieve a marijuana-like high and still test clean on routine drug checks, they included the noteworthy datum in their study.

The researchers concluded in their study, which will be published by the journal of Addictive Behaviors in July, that soldiers choosing to use recreational drugs were twice as likely to use synthetic cannabinoids as they were to use marijuana.

The perception among synthetic cannabinoid-using soldiers is that it is less traceable than marijuana on the regular urinalysis tests that active-duty soldiers must undergo.

"Spice might be one of those drugs that is more attractive to those populations if they're interested in getting high and trying to get around these tests," University of Washington associate professor and the study's lead author Denise Walker explained.

The study's researchers collected their datum via interviews with 368 active-duty soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord that articulated an interest in discussing alcohol or drug abuse troubles.

Approximately 33 percent of the participants said they had used illegal drugs within a 90 day period previous to being interviewed for the study. Among those, 38 percent claimed they had used synthetic cannabinoids twice as many as those that admitted to smoking marijuana.

"Spice (synthetic cannabinoids) definitely is an alternative to marijuana and soldiers are using it" in order to thwart military urinalysis tests, University of Washington social work research coordinator Tom Walton declared.

"Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines! You don't need experience, we give it! You don't have to miss smoking weed, use synthetic cannabinoids!"