Marijuana is arguably the most effective (and safest) drug out there. With that being said, it can produce a few minor side effects such as dry mouth, red eyes, increased appetite and delayed motor skills. Synthetic cannabinoids on the other hand, can cause a number of severe mental and physical side effects. The dangers of synthetic cannabinoids are real and must be taken seriously.
How are synthetic cannabinoids made?
First and foremost, it’s important for you to understand that synthetic cannabinoids are unnatural and made in a laboratory. Synthetic cannabinoids are not to be confused with natural cannabinoids. Natural cannabinoids (THC and CBD) are organic compounds found in real, from the ground, marijuana. These compounds are safe and effective at treating numerous medical conditions. Synthetic cannabinoids are not only dangerous, but also offer no medical value.
How do you use it?
The two most common methods of use for synthetic cannabinoids are smoking and vaping. Mind altering chemicals are sprayed on plant material to be smoked, or sold in liquid form, to be vaped.
How does it affect the body?
Synthetic cannabinoids interact and bind to the same receptors in the brain that THC does. These manufactured chemicals bind much more strongly to the receptors, however, causing much greater, mind-altering effects.
What are the side effects?
The effects of synthetic cannabinoids are unpredictable, dangerous and life-threatening. They produce a few similar effects of natural cannabis, such as a boost in mood, relaxation, altered perception and psychosis. Effects of psychosis include, extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia and hallucinations.
The side effects from these chemical differ from the side effects of natural cannabis when they produce negative effects such as increased heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, increased blood pressure, reduction in blood supply to the heart (heart failure), kidney damage, internal bleeding, seizures and even death.
Natural cannabis has never killed anyone. It’s important to note that operating a motor vehicle under the influence of both natural and synthetic cannabis is dangerous and illegal.
Is it addictive?
Synthetic cannabinoids are addictive. They offer no medical benefit while they retain a high potential for abuse. As a result, regular users will experience withdrawal symptoms like headache, anxiety, depression and irritability if they try to quit.
If they’re dangerous, why are they available for sale?
Synthetic cannabinoids are included in a group of unregulated drugs called New Psychoactive Substances. They are intended to provide the same effects as illegal drugs. Often times, the package will say something to the effect of “made with natural ingredients. This is a tactic to convince users that the synthetic drugs are safe. On the contrary, the only natural component to these "fake drugs" is the plant material that the chemicals are sprayed on.
The dangerous chemicals used to create synthetic cannabinoids are continuously altered in order to keep them on the shelves. Ingredients are constantly being outlawed, so the “recipes” must continue to change. Side effects vary from batch to batch, making these synthetic drugs extremely unpredictable and dangerous.
You will most commonly find these drugs in convenience stores and online. Manufacturers package them in bright, colorful packages, to attract users, specifically younger users. You will find synthetic cannabinoids going by a number of different names, the most common being K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Kush, Kronic, and Joker.
There has been a spike in overdoses and deaths directly related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids. Obviously, you should never use these dangerous drugs. Not only do they offer no medical benefit, but they also can lead to extreme adverse reactions. Never underestimate the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids.