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Synthetic marijuana

Synthetic marijuana

Synthetic marijuana

Simply put, synthetic marijuana is a questionable (at best) concoction of man-made psychoactive chemicals sprayed on dried plant material. These psychoactive chemicals are meant to mimic the effects of THC, the active ingredient found in real marijuana. Often referred to as “fake weed”, synthetic marijuana is sold in $30-$50 foil packets and is easy enough to find in gas stations, smoke shops, or convenience stores.

Marketed as a “safe” alternative to marijuana which is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, these things have successfully avoided regulation by simply being labeled “Not Safe for Human Consumption”. Synthetic marijuana is far from safe. They are actually more powerful than the real thing – with severe and unpredictable side effects that are dangerous and sometimes life-threatening.

  • Screening Cut-Off and Detection Time
  • GC/MS Cut-off Approximate Detection Time
  • Urine Drug Test
  • 25 ng/ml up to 72 hours after use DEA Drug Class

Synthetic marijuana is classified under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act which lists drugs, substances, or chemicals that have a high potential for abuse with no current medical use. Examples of other drugs in this class are:

  • Ecstasy
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Methaqualone
  • Peyote
  • K2 Spice Drug Type

Synthetic marijuana is a stimulant. While natural marijuana is classified as a mild hallucinogen-depressant and depending on a person’s response to it, synthetic marijuana without question is an exceptionally powerful stimulant with serious and often severe side effects because of its largely unknown composition of dangerous and unstable chemicals.

Forms and Routes of Administration

Smoking – the herbal incense or potpourri version of synthetic marijuana is smoked by using a pipe or other devices. Many people also roll it into a joint but some sites advise against doing it this way and instead recommend simply using an incense burner.

Vaping – for liquid Spice/K2, there are two main techniques of vaping – mouth-to-lung (MTL) and direct-lung-inhale (DLI).

MTL is much the same as smoking a cigarette or sucking on a straw and letting the mouth fill with vapor. This technique makes use of tanks, preferably with high-ohm coils. The slow inhalation vaporizes the e-liquid slower, making the e-juice last longer.

DLI is much like taking a hit from a bong or shisha pipe. This technique draws the vapor straight down to the lungs and requires sub-ohm tanks.

MTL vs DLI Vaping

K2 Spice Brand Names
100% HIGH Quality
Ace of Spades
Aer Wave
Atomic Bomb
Baby J
Barely Legal Express
BC’s Finest
Be’s Finest T.M.D.K.
Big Blue
Black Kush
Black Magic
Black Mamba
Black Widow
Bloody Mary
Blue Berry
Blue Magic
Blueberry Blaze
BUDDHA Exclusive
Burnin Man Hypnotic
California Dreams
California K2
Chronic Hypnotic
Clear Breeze
Cloud 9
Strength Blueberry
Cloud 9
Cobra King KUSH
Comatose Candy
Captain Kava Dabs
Code Black
Cowboy Kush
Crazy Monkey
Dancing Monkey DANK
Dead Man Walking
Dr. Bones Piece of Shit-Bag
Dr. Express
Dr. Feel Good
Dragon Eye
Dream On
Earth Blend
Express Aromatic
Extreme Herbal Incense
Extremely Legal XXX
Funky Green Stuff
Funky Monkey
G 6 Large Summit
GENI a New Era
Glass Jar
Gods of Aroma
Gold Platinum
Golden Buddha GREEN EYE
Green Ghost Kush
Green Giant
Green KUSH
Green Window
GUCI Exotic
H2O 50
H2 Blonde
Happy Shaman
Head Trip
Hookah Relax
Inner Voyage
Intensity Black
Jungle Juice
Jamaican Spirit
Janes Jungle Juice 5g PIN UP
Jungle K2 69
King Cobra
King John
Knocked Out
Krunk Max
Legally BLIND
LIT (Lost in Trance)
Lucky Charm
Mad Hatter
Mad Monkey
Mango Skunk
Manic Organic
Marley Spice
Mean Pit Bull XXX
Mile High
MOJO spice
Moon Rocks
Mr. and Mrs. Marley
Mr. Happy
Mr. Marley KUSH
Mr. Miyagi
Mr. Nice Guy
Ober Spice
On Point No BS Herbal Incense
One Love
Orange KUSH
OZ Original Premium 1GM
Passion Sense
Peach Bomb
Planet Kratom
Poppin Cherry
Premium Herbal
Pure Fyre
Purple Diesel
Purple Haze
Raptor 50
Rasta Spice
Red Dawn Spark 80
Red Dragon
Red Eye made by SPARK
Red Magic
Rising Sun 1X
Skull Killa
Soulsense Reserve
Sour Apple Diesel
Space Monkey
Spice 99
Starwest Botanicals
Stink Eye
Super HASH
Super Kush
Supernova Ultra
The Big Bang
The Bomb
Time Traveler
Time Wave 2012
URB Incense
Urban Kaos
Voodoo Child
White Rabbit
White Widow
Yucatan Fire
Zero Gravity
Zombie Killa
Zombie Matter Zombie Warning
Zombie Wrecked

Uses of Synthetic Marijuana

With a Schedule I classification, synthetic marijuana has no useful medical applications and its only known “uses” are those that recreational users seek to experience. So, what are some of the reasons people use it?

Lack of social skills – many young people feel awkward in social situations and use “chemically-induced courage” to cope. As Spice and/or K2 are readily available, many teens end up using them.
Low self-esteem – people with poor self-image sometimes make do with a few hours of “feel-good” vibes about themselves by taking drugs, and again Spice is so easy to get.
Peer pressure – Spice/K2 in general, is very accessible to adolescents, and the need to be accepted into certain circles is often a compelling enough reason for these kids to try using it for the first time and to keep on using it afterward.

Stress – stress is a common motivation for people to begin using drugs that they think will offer an escape, even if only momentary.

Reasons People Take K2/Spice/Synthetic Marijuana

Street Names For Synthetic Marijuana

  • fake pot
  • fake weed
  • herbal incense
  • legal weed
  • potpourri
  • synthetic cannabis
  • synthetic marijuana

Side Effects of Synthetic Marijuana

Synthetic cannabinoids bind to and trigger the same brain receptors that THC does, but while THC is a half/partial agonist only, synthetic cannabinoids are full agonists that produce a full biological response from that receptor.

Even with the limited knowledge gained from a few studies on the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on the brain, the scientific community appreciates that because they bind more strongly to the same cell receptors affected by THC, they produce stronger and more unpredictable effects. Added to this is the fact that most synthetic cannabinoid products have unknown chemical compositions that change all the time to avoid regulation. Some of these effects are similar to those produced by natural marijuana:

  • altered awareness/perception
  • confusion
  • delusion/detachment from reality
  • elevated mood
  • extreme anxiety
  • hallucinations
  • paranoia
  • relaxation

Short-Term Side Effects of Synthetic Marijuana

Many users, mostly adolescents seek out synthetic marijuana (K2/Spice) for the following marijuana-like effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Altered perception

The downside, however, is that these much sought-after effects have undesirable side effects, mostly depending on whatever unknown substance is present in this unregulated drug:

  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Hypertension
  • Increased heart rate
  • Panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Severe anxiety
  • Vomiting

Long-Term Side Effects of Synthetic Marijuana

Because there are limited studies, the long-term effects are not fully understood, other than what poison center experts report – that synthetic marijuana use can be life-threatening in the long term.

  • Addiction
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Renal damage
  • Seizures
  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion
  • Paralysis

K2 Spice Addiction

One sure sign of physical addiction is the presence of associated withdrawal symptoms. Long-term users of Spice/K2 or other synthetic marijuana who try to quit will experience seriously uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms:

K2 spice withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Disinterest in usual activities and interests
  • Drug cravings
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Neglect of duties
  • Nightmares
  • Psychosis (hallucinations, paranoia)
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Tremors

History of Synthetic Marijuana

John W. Huffman was an organic chemistry professor at Clemson University back in the 1980s. In 1984, he led a team of researchers and began working on cannabinoids, a class of chemicals found in marijuana. His work was backed by generous grants from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), and over the next 20 years has developed more than 450 cannabinoids that can mimic the effects of THC, the principal active component of real marijuana. The ultimate goal of his research was the development of pharmaceutical products that would target the endocannabinoid receptors in the body, particularly CB1 and CB2.

JCH Illegalization and Underground Replacement

While there are other synthetic cannabinoid families (AM-xxx, JWH-xxx, HU-xxx, CP-xx), the JWH family of compounds figured prominently in the blame-game that ensued when synthetic marijuana products began flooding the U.S. market late in 2008, back when there were no DEA or FDA regulations in place.

The German pharmaceutical company THC Pharm reported that in at least 3 versions of the herbal blend Spice (which has been selling as incense around the world since 2002 and was all over Europe by 2004), JWH-018 was found to be one of the active components. Germany then prohibited the use of JWH-018, only to discover some 4 weeks later that the new samples they obtained now contained JWH-073. Huffman believes that of the entire JWH family of compounds, JWH-018 is the most widely used as it is more potent than most and is easy to make.

In 2011, testing laboratories began developing LC/MS/MS screening and confirmatory testing for detecting synthetic cannabinoids in response to their increasing prevalence in the American workplace. Employers initially began requesting testing for synthetic cannabinoids due to reasonable suspicion and accidents in the workplace, but by 2012 after the results started showing a trend, the tests were expanded to include pre-employment drug testing and random drug testing and JWH-073 has since been replaced by new synthetics.

The exact chemical make-up of synthetic cannabinoids keeps evolving. As more individual compounds are banned by the federal government, underground chemists simply replace them with something else.

More and more high profile corporations (mining, oil & gas, railroads, etc.) include synthetic panels in their workplace drug testing programs and it looks like these programs will only strengthen over time, considering that the manufacturers of these synthetic compounds have so far managed to stay 1 step ahead of the law.

Does DOT test for spice?

At this time, DOT doesn’t test for spice. It only tests for the drugs below according to 49 CFR Part 40 Subpart F.

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates – opium and codeine derivatives
  • Amphetamines and methamphetamines
  • Phencyclidine – PCP

However, DOT does not prohibit motor carrier employers from carrying out their own drug testing programs and policies. As such, any employer can require testing for other drugs of abuse not listed above such as K2/spice.

What Can Cause a False Positive for K2/Spice?

Somebody asked this question on Based on the answers of respondents, it seems like the culprit for a K2 Spice false positive is the combination of Lamictal and Gabapentin.

Lamictal is an anti-epileptic medication. It is also used for delaying mood episodes in people with bipolar disorders.

Gabapentin, on the other hand, is a prescription anticonvulsant medication for epilepsy and postherpetic neuralgia.

What you can do?

If you’re taking any of these medications, we strongly suggest you inform the technician prior to drug testing.

Will Spice Show up on a Probation Drug Test?

Yes, spice will show up on a probation drug test if they use a K2 Spice drug test strip.

How Long Does Spice Stay in Your Urine?

Spice can be detected in urine for up to 72 hours.

Is There a Urine Test for Spice?

Yes, there is a urine test for spice. Here at 12 Panel Now, our K2/Spice Urine Test Strips can provide you with 99% accurate results. They’re safe, reliable, and easy to use too.

What Schedule Drug Is K2?

Spice is a combination of different types of herbal mixtures that mimic the effects of THC.

Because the chemicals that are commonly used for creating spice have a high potential for abuse but no medical benefit, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has designated them as Schedule I drugs.

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