Synthetic marijuana is also called Spice or K2, and it is a modified chemical herbal substance that evokes mind-altering effects that are similar to or more intense than marijuana.
Spice is made up of plant-based materials, which are sprayed with an array of chemicals. As many as 120 synthetic chemicals have been found in synthetic cannabinoids. Most users smoke it like regular marijuana or use it in e-cigarettes; the drug can also be consumed in drinks or edibles.
This drug is designed to have the same effects of marijuana, but the mix of chemicals makes for a dangerous combination. Every batch of K2 is different and can affect users in very different ways. This drug can be addictive and users can experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it.
Although certain types of synthetic marijuana have been banned in all 50 states, it is still easily accessible. The drug is marketed and sold as potpourri or incense, and often labeled “not for human consumption.” It can be bought in smoke shops, gas stations, convenience stores and over the Internet.
Many of those who use synthetic marijuana are drawn to it because they are under the impression that it is safer than marijuana. Because this designer drug doesn’t show up in most standard drug tests, and is legal to purchase in many places, many find it an appealing option.
Using this drug causes the person to feel relaxed and happy, it also alters their perception. The ingredients in each batch are completely different, and therefore, the effects are unpredictable.
Spice is the term used to described the mixture of herbs and chemicals that produce an effect that is similar to cannabis, but far more dangerous. Even though many sellers of spice advertise it as a safe, legal alternative to cannabis, it is far from the truth. It was made illegal in the U.S. in 2013 due to the many cases of overdose and addiction.
The herbs are sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids, but since the scope of the cannabinoid family is so vast, it is completely different from cannabis. The need for synthetic marijuana addiction treatment has risen as thousands of people try what they think is a safe alternative, only to find that it is addictive and dangerous.
Overdose is a serious risk when using this drug. As recently as July of 2016, 33 people in one New York neighborhood were admitted to the ER with symptoms of K2 overdose.
As with many synthetic drugs, addiction to synthetic marijuana is possible. Those who abuse it regularly may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms – signs that a dependence has formed. Some of these symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, headaches, cravings, diarrhea and anxiety.
In order to effectively address these symptoms, a detox is needed. Under the care of medical professionals at a rehab facilities, patients are better able to withdraw from the substance in a safe and comfortable manner. Once detox is completed, patients can move on to counseling, behavioral therapies and other proven treatment methods. During these sessions, they can address underlying issues, as well as any co-occurring mental disorders that accompany their addiction.
- Abuse, N. I. (n.d.). Synthetic Cannabinoids. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cannabinoids
- Increase in synthetic cannabinoid (K2)-related adverse events and emergency department visits, New York City [PDF]. (2016, July 14). EW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE.
Last updated on July 19th, 2017 at 08:00 pm