Monday, June 17, 2024

Key Things To Know About Synthetic Marijuana

As 50%+ of the US has legal weed available, synthetic marijuana is still around.  Here is what you need to know about it

Marijuana has become increasing legal in the US, but it has not stopped the use of K-2, or spice. Created to provide similar reactions as weed, it has some significant drawbacks to natural cannabis. Often to be made to look like weed, it is not and the dangers are much higher. Here are the key things to know about synthetic marijuana.

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Photo by Jorge Alberto Mendoza Mariscal/Getty Images

What is it?

Synthetic marijuana/fake weed/Spice/K-2 is a blended product. Containing shredded plant material and chemicals made in a lab, manufacturers spray chemicals onto the shredded plant material to make it look like marijuana.  In reality, it is a group of manmade chemicals producing a “high” mimicking some of the effects of THC. Natural THC organically binds to the body’s cannabinoids, producing strong effects which can be euphoric and relaxing. Synthetic marijuana tries to do the same, but sometimes binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system in unpredictable ways. particularly since no one really knows what’s in these products.

Why is it dangerous?

Aside from its unpredictability, synthetic marijuana tends to bind more tightly to the body’s endocannabinoid system, creating a stronger relationship that’s harder to shake off. Side effects associated with synthetic weed are dramatic and dire, unlike the ones associated with regular marijuana use. According to the Cleveland Clinic, they include heart attacks, organ failure, seizures, psychosis, stroke, violent behavior, hypertension, and more. Researchers believe synthetic marijuana can make it more likely for people to suffer from psychiatric conditions, among them bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression. About a quarter (28%) of synthetic cannabinoid users experienced central nervous system depression or coma—when brain and spinal cord functions slow down and impair breathing, heart rate, and cognitive processes.

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Photo by Itay Kabalo via Unsplash

RELATED: ‘Synthetic Marijuana’ Is A Dangerous Misnomer That People Need To Stop Using

Who’s at risk?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people between the ages of 20-30 are more likely to be exposed to synthetic cannabis, with men being more likely than women to try it out. Users tend to have already tried out cannabis or are regular cannabis consumers.

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