However, the drug includes chemicals applied to plant material such as potpourri that is mixed in with marijuana. Researchers all agree that the combination makes the drug difficult to predict and the effects, short and long-term, random.
Between 2009 and 2010, synthetic marijuana peaked in popularity, but in 2012 the U.S. banned the sale of the substance on the federal level, which was followed shortly thereafter by a ban on the state level. Unfortunately, most manufacturers have found a way around the law by creating slight changes to the drug and more obviously by marking the packaging "not for human consumption."
What is it?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists K2, moon rocks, spice, skunk, Yucatan fire, and fake weed among the many names that Synthetic Marijuana goes by. Realizing the potential for danger, the Drug Enforcement Administration banned the chemicals used to make the drug in 2012; but unfortunately individuals making the drug have discovered ways around the ban by using alternative chemicals.
Synthetic Marijuana appeals mostly to male high school students and reports from the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggest that the reasons for the drug's popularity center around a misunderstanding of key words associated with the drug such as "Spice" which indicated that it is a natural substance and not harmful and also that it is undetectable by drug tests.
Why is it used?
Abusers and addicts experienced feelings of euphoria and deep relaxation, as well as feeling anxious, paranoia, and reported having hallucinations.
What are the effects of drug use?
Similar to marijuana, synthetic marijuana connects to and blocks the cannabin receptors, however in synthetic marijuana the attachment is more secure and unpredictable. The inability to predict the outcome from abuse is a solid concern for health care professionals, who are understandably concerned too as to the long-term effects of daily abuse.
Emergency room health professionals reported that individuals have been admitted with:
• Irregular heartbeat
• Slurred speech
• Aggressive and Irrational Behavior
• Being Delusional
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the uncertainty of the chemicals used in the drug, create a danger in the ability to treat individuals who are under the influence of the drug maintaining that the best recourse is to keep the individual calm and allow the drug to be naturally released from the body.