What is Synthetic Marijuana and Risks of Its Abuse?

Watching an individual go deeper into their drug addiction can be heartbreaking. Your loved one has become withdrawn, often combative, and has neglected their responsibilities. Their primary focus is on using their drug of choice, and obtaining more of said drug. For those whom have marijuana addiction, these individuals may turn to synthetic marijuana abuse alternatives if they are unable to obtain real marijuana.

I feel sorry to say that there has been a vast increase in synthetic pot poisonings in the previous years. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that US poison centers in 48 states received over 3,500 calls related to use of synthetic cannabinoids. In fact, deaths from synthetic marijuana abuse have tripled over the past year. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), there has been an increased crackdown on synthetic cannabinoids. In fact, some states have actually outlawed this substance.

Synthetic cannabinoids first came onto the radar in the United States in 2009. While synthetic marijuana is vastly different from synthetic products like Flakka, it is becoming an increasingly dangerous problem. As a nation, it is an alarming situation for all of us since many of the marijuana users are young kids, and they end up at some drug treatment facility.

Synthetic marijuana is known as a designer drug. This designer drug is made up of incense, leaves, and herbs, all of which are sprayed with lab-synthesized chemicals that mimic the effect of THC. There is a variety of street names that are associated with synthetic marijuana; some of them are:

  • Spice
  • K2
  • Fake weed
  • Genie
  • Skunk
  • Rocks
  • Zohai
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This product is marketed as incense and is packaged in 3-ounce pouches that are labeled: not for human consumption. Synthetic marijuana is widely used by high school students, due to being easily obtainable. In the years of 2012, however, a national ban of synthetic cannabinoids went into effect.

Synthetic marijuana is used in a similar manner to using marijuana. It can be smoked, baked into foods, or brewed as a tea. Symptoms of a synthetic marijuana “high” mimic what individuals experience while using cannabis. These symptoms include paranoia, hallucinations, and heightened anxiety.

The compounds found in synthetic marijuana impact the same cell receptors that marijuana does. Unfortunately, the synthetic marijuana compounds may bind more strongly to THC receptors than regular cannabis does.

It has been estimated that synthetic marijuana is 100 times more powerful than normal marijuana, and is much more dangerous. The danger of using synthetic marijuana lies in the chemicals make-up of synthetic marijuana. There is an elevated risk of synthetic marijuana being laced with toxic chemicals, raising the risk of overdose and death.

If you, or someone you know, may be using synthetic marijuana, it is vital that you seek help from a drug addiction recovery center. They can assist you or your loved ones as they go through drug addiction withdrawal, and will provide essential life skills to help your loved ones once they are discharged from the recovery center. You should contact your local addiction recovery facility today for a suitable treatment option.