Modified on: 16/05/2023
Synthetic cannabis: risks and problems.
Synthetic cannabis, also called fake marijuana, is a very different product from CBD cannabis, which is closer to cannabis with high THC levels. It has been classified as a new psychoactive substance (NPS) since its introduction in 2002. It is an unregulated substance that alters the mind and produces the same effects as illegal marijuana.
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It is a cannabis mixture that contains artificial cannabinoids, created in the laboratory to help scientists study the psychoactive action of natural cannabinoids in the human brain. Despite this, the effects of these synthetic substances are unpredictable, and can even be life-threatening. Cannabis produced in the laboratory cannot be considered a substitute for marijuana.
How can you recognise synthetic cannabis?
Synthetic cannabis often appears like a mixture of grated and dried leaves. These sheets can be of different colours, including green, brown, yellow and red, and are often sold in small packets of coloured aluminium foil, or plastic bags with airtight closure.
There are countless synthetic cannabinoid products also available online (usually illegally). Here are the main ones:
- Demon Passion Smoke
- Hawaiian Hybrid
- Spice drug
- Panama Red Ball
- Sativa Herbal Smoke
- Ultra Chronic
- Voodoo Spice
- Black Mamma
- And many more.
As there are no rules for the production, packaging, or sale of synthetic grass, it is impossible to know the type and quantity of chemicals present in each product, as well as the effects.
Synthetic cannabis, if smoked or vaporised, should work on the same brain receptors as THC. But, as mentioned, the effects are unpredictable.
In the following paragraphs, we will give you 3 important reasons why you should avoid taking artificial cannabinoid products.
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1) Synthetic cannabis is often sold as a 100% natural product… But that is not the case.
Although they are often marketed as 100% organic herbs, none of the synthetic cannabis lots on the market is quite natural. They have all been treated to contain various artificial cannabinoids or other laboratory-produced chemicals.
Synthetic cannabis originally contained a chemical called HU-210, which has a molecular structure very similar to THC. But HU-210 is included in the “Annex I of Controlled Substances” in the United States, which lists drugs and other substances with high addictive potential.
For this reason, synthetic cannabis is also on the Schedule I list, which includes heroin and cocaine, among other substances.
Over the years, the HU-210 has been supported by other chemicals, including JWH-018.
The problem with JWH-018 and other substances is that their toxicity and metabolites are entirely unknown. It is even confirmed by John Huffman, one of the chemists who helped develop the chemical JWH-018, also known as 1-Pentyl-3-(1-naftoil).
This person claims that JWH-018 is potentially dangerous and should not be taken by humans.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), most synthetic cannabinoids are manufactured in Asia, without control or production standards. They were then smuggled into the United States, where they were sprinkled with “vegetable material,” packaged and eventually sold in several stores.
2) The effects of synthetic cannabis are unpredictable and often very harmful.
Many people buy artificial marijuana with the idea that it is a safe product as it contains advertised ingredients such as ‘natural’.
However, the product has proven to be harmful to our health. Its effects are very different from those of CBD flowers, and they are high in THC. The percentages of chemicals in synthetic marijuana are unknown, and most of the time, undeclared.
Because of its intake, there have been many cases of severe and unexplained bleeding, hematomas and even some deaths.
Several reports from the Drug Enforcement Administration show numerous emergency room visits caused by these and other symptoms:
- Violent behaviour
- Suicidal thoughts
- Kidney damage
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3) Synthetic cannabis is inherently dangerous and contains chemicals that should not be consumed.
The effect that synthetic cannabinoids can have on our brains is hazardous. The Drug Enforcement Administration cites numerous overdoses that have caused fatal heart attacks (this is not possible with the use of natural marijuana).
Acute kidney damage was also linked to the use of these substances, resulting in hospitalisation and dialysis.
Other known side effects, in addition to those listed in the previous paragraph, are:
- Increased blood pressure
It is not yet known if these symptoms can become chronic, but what is certain is that taking synthetic cannabis is like playing Russian roulette. While the use of legal cannabis and CBD weed can speed up the heart, they cannot lead to death or overdose. But chemicals found in synthetic cannabis can do so.
Do you care about your health and your life? So stay away from synthetic cannabis.