Synthetic marijuana is a deceptive drug that pretends to mimic the effects of THC, the active ingredient in pot. However, synthetic marijuana, also known as “spice,” “K-2” or “fake weed,” is nothing like pot. This drug is exceedingly more dangerous, which is particularly concerning in light of the fact that its use is increasing, particularly among young users. There are many reasons why synthetic marijuana is becoming a top concern among medical providers, researchers and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Understanding Synthetic Marijuana
Synthetic marijuana is a combination of herbal ingredients that are sprayed with a synthetic chemical solution designed to mimic the “high” experienced with marijuana. The products have been marketed as legal, even though many of the packages clearly state, “Not for human consumption.” Users have been able to purchase bags of synthetic marijuana from some convenience stores and head shops. It is also widely available on the Internet. Synthetic marijuana is frequently smoked, but it can also be baked into edibles or brewed into tea.
Effects of Synthetic Marijuana
According to some users of synthetic cannabinoids, the effects of this drug are similar to those found with pot only stronger. However, the complex combination of ingredients found in synthetic marijuana may lead to other effects as well, such as paranoia, hallucinations and extreme agitation. “Bad trips” are much more common with spice than pot, and the effects may last much longer.
Risks and Dangers
Health risks associated with synthetic marijuana are numerous and may include:
- Elevated blood pressure and heart rate
- Tremors and seizures
- Nausea and vomiting
- Agitation and confusion
- Hallucinations and psychotic episodes
One of the biggest dangers of synthetic cannabinoids is the simple fact that the drug is not regulated, which means no two doses are ever the same. This makes it impossible to predict the effects of the drug from one hit to the next. In fact, even the potency of synthetic marijuana may fluctuate from package to package, and even inside the packages themselves.
A Prevalent Problem
In April 2015, there was a huge spike in synthetic marijuana use, according to a report at the Huffington Post. After poison control centers across the country reported 273 illnesses from synthetic cannabinoids in February and 269 in March, more than 1,500 illnesses were reported in April. The federal government continues to try to make use of synthetic marijuana illegal by classifying the ingredients found in the mix as illegal controlled substances. However, drug manufacturers have made it a sort of game to stay ahead of law enforcement, by changing the ingredients slightly to avoid the illegal categorization.
Unfortunately, this is no “game” to the users that are experiencing severe and even deadly side effects from the drug. If you are struggling with an addiction to synthetic cannabinoids, now is the time to get help. Contact Pasadena Recovery Center today to discover how we can help you survive withdrawal and move into an effective treatment program. We are ready to hear from you at 866-663-3030.