There’s a growing number of mind-altering substances that is causing numerous overdoses and even has some acting like zombies. These substances are called synthetic cannabinoids, with K2 or synthetic marijuana in the forefront.
Synthetic cannabinoids are mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed on dried, shredded plants so they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be used in vapes or e-cigarettes. These cannabinoids are derived from chemicals found in the Indian hemp (Cannabis sativa), where marijuana comes from. Because of their similarities, the synthetic cannabinoids are often called synthetic marijuana or fake weed. Many even market these as safe and legal alternatives to marijuana–which they are absolutely NOT.
In fact, these synthetic cannabinoids are more potent than marijuana, causing unpredictable effects that can sometimes be life-threatening.
What do synthetic cannabinoids look like?
These synthetic cannabinoids are marketed as harmless, natural, and legal. They are sold as herbal incense products and come in colorful foil packages. They are also sold in plastic bottles as liquid incense products for e-cigarettes. They come in various brand names, with K2 and Spice being the most popular.
How are they used?
Users smoke them in much the same way as marijuana. Some are even brewed as tea.
What are the effects of these synthetic cannabinoids?
They affect the brain just as much as marijuana does, although they are more potent. Its chemical composition is not the same in every batch, these products can have varying and unpredictable effects.
Some of its effects are:
- elevated mood
- altered perception
- symptoms of psychosis
- extreme anxiety
Dangers of synthetic cannabinoids
In recent years, many K2 and Spice users have been taken to emergency rooms due to various effects:
- rapid heart rate
- violent behavior
- suicidal thoughts
- kidney damage
These synthetic cannabinoids are addictive because they can also increase tolerance and cause withdrawal symptoms to frequent and heavy users: