If you ever heard of K2, Spice, Mr. Happy, Scooby Snax, and Kronic, you have heard of synthetic drug also known as fake marijuana.
But, what is spice?
Spice is a mix of herbs, shredded plant material and laboratory-made chemicals with mind-altering effects. It is sometimes misleadingly called synthetic marijuana or fake weed because some of the chemicals in it are similar to ones in marijuana. But its effects are sometimes very different from marijuana, and often much stronger. Usually, the chemicals are sprayed onto plant materials to make them look like marijuana.
Because the chemicals used in Spice have a high potential for abuse and no medical benefit, the Drug Enforcement Administration has made many of the active chemicals found in Spice illegal. However, the people who make these products try to avoid these laws by using different chemicals in their mixtures.
How do people use it?
Manufacturers sell these products in colorful foil packages and plastic bottles to attract consumers. For several years, synthetic cannabinoid mixtures have been easy to buy in drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores, gas stations, and over the internet.
Because the chemicals used in them have no medical benefit and a high potential for abuse, authorities have made it illegal to sell, buy, or possess some of these chemicals. However, manufacturers try to sidestep these laws by changing the chemical formulas in their mixtures.
How do synthetic cannabinoids affect the brain?
Easy access and the belief that synthetic cannabinoid products are natural and therefore harmless, have likely contributed to their use among young people. Another reason for their continued use is that standard drug tests cannot easily detect many of the chemicals used in these products.
Synthetic cannabinoids act on the same brain cell receptors as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the mind-altering ingredient in marijuana. So far, there have been few scientific studies of the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on the human brain, but researchers do know that some of them bind more strongly than marijuana to the cell receptors affected by THC and can produce much stronger effects. The resulting health effects can be unpredictable and dangerous.
Synthetic cannabinoid users report some effects similar to those produced by marijuana:
- elevated mood
- altered perception—awareness of surrounding objects and conditions
- symptoms of psychosis—delusional or disordered thinking detached from reality
Spice products can also be laced with toxic substances. The drugs that caused severe bleeding were tainted with brodifacoum, a chemical found in rat poison. People who were affected had symptoms like blood in their urine, severe bloody noses, coughing up blood, and internal bleeding.
Are these drugs addictive?
People have overdosed on synthetic cannabinoid drugs, but it’s hard to know how much of the drug it takes to overdose. Much of what scientists know about synthetic cannabinoids they’ve learned from studying THC in marijuana. Marijuana comes from the cannabis plant. Spice, on the other hand, is the combination of several chemicals, namely CP 47,497, HU-210, and JWH-018. Long-term users of these drugs do develop tolerance and dependence and can be addicted to Spice.
Regular users trying to quit may have the following withdrawal symptoms:
Behavioral therapies and medications have not specifically been tested for treatment of addiction to these products. The effects of synthetic cannabinoids can be unpredictable and severe or even life-threatening.
Is it legal?
By 2010, several states had passed laws banning the sale of synthetic cannabinoids. In 2012, President Obama signed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act, which classified many of the active ingredients in these products as Schedule I drugs — the same category as heroin and ecstasy.
Yet prosecuting sellers of these drugs has been like hitting a moving target because they’ve found clever ways to bypass the laws. Drug dealers got smart and started to figure out that you could make a very small change to the chemical structure.
Spice products have also added labels that their products are not for human consumption.
What should I do if someone I know needs help?
If you, or a friend, are in crisis and need to speak with someone now:
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK
They don’t just talk about suicide—they cover a lot of issues and will help put you in touch with someone close by.
If you want to help a friend, you can:
- Share resources from this site, including this page.
- Point your friend to Step by Step Guide for Teens and Young Adults.
- Encourage your friend to speak with a trusted adult.
How can I get a test for Spice?
12 Panel Now’s K2/Spice drug tests enable users to perform K2 testing with complete ease and without seeking assistance. It is a urine test for the detection of synthetic cannabinoids type K2 or Spice.
Spice urine test comes in package of 25 strips, which are safe and easy to use. For bulk and large orders call 561-257-0135 for even better pricing! But if you are in no need for bulk quantities, we offer FREE SHIPPING over $90, for same day shipping. Order yours today!