Dangers of Spice and Effective Treatment

Synthetic cannabis is an herbal and chemical product that resembles the effects of  marijuana. It is best known by the brand names K2 and Spice. When synthetic cannabis products first went on sale it was thought that the drug effects came from a mixture of legal herbs and weren’t harmful. In 2008, laboratory analysis  showed spice cannabinoids, which act in the body almost identically to the cannabinoids found in marijuana.

The synthetic cannabis was developed to avoid the law that prohibits the production of THC, the chemical in marijuana that is responsible for the drug effect.  IN trying to make a legal marijuana, they market Spice as a “herbal smoking blend” that has the same effects as marijuana but does not show up in drug test for marijuana.

European countries are leading the US in making this drug illegal since there have been many medical side-effects from those that have used Spice.  In response, the DEA of the United States made five synthetic cannabinoids a Schedule I drug, just recently, on November 24, 2010.

Dangers of Smoking Spice or K2

There aren’t any scientific studies that could be documented at this time that definitely link Spice to untoward consequences, but the effects of large doses may cause negative effects that are problematic to users that are not used to marijuana effects.  Professor John W. Huffman, who first synthesized many of the cannabinoids used in synthetic cannabis is quoted in saying that “Anyone that uses these drugs is an idiot.  No one knows what they are going to do to humans.”  One study of Spice showed that users experienced withdrawal symptoms and another experienced psychosis.  This should be warning enough to know what you are smoking before you let these drugs into your blood stream and, ultimately into your nervous system.

“Spice,” the generic name for a legal “synthetic marijuana.” The first week in July, 2010, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ( D ) became the latest to sign a state ban. In March, Kansas was the first state to outlaw the product, followed by Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. Lawmakers in other states, including Iowa, Michigan, Illinois and Louisiana, are working on bans. Similar legislation has not come up in Virginia, Maryland or the District.

Gil Kerlikowske, President Obama’s drug czar, said in an interview that the substance is “on our radar” but added that he thought state legislatures are dealing well with the issue.

But others decry what they see as a knee-jerk reaction from lawmakers, making the synthetic marijuana product the latest substance at the center of an ongoing debate about the merits of prohibition.

“We have never had any complaints or concerns from customers,” Eidinger said. He added that he began stocking spice products after several requests from customers. “We always ask the manufacturers if there is anything illegal in the products. We only use the products we trust, and if it is made illegal in D.C., we will stop selling it.”

A lack of data and controlled testing make it difficult to determine the drug’s safety. And there are no official estimates of its growing use. But there has been a significant bump in calls to poison centers concerning spice. Nationwide, the American Association of Poison Control Centers logged 567 cases across 41 states in which people had suffered a bad reaction to spice during the first half of 2010. Just 13 cases were reported in 2009.

Marilyn Huestis, chief of chemistry and drug metabolism at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said the chemicals had been developed by several university medical researchers to study the part of the brain responsible for hunger, memory and temperature control. The compounds, known as synthetic cannabinoids, mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), the ingredient in cannabis that gives users a high. They were not, however, designed for human consumption.

“These different, synthetic compounds are up to 100 times more potent than THC and have not been tested on humans,” she said. “When people take it, they don’t know how much they’re taking or what it is they’re taking.”

This data came from the Wahsington Post, July 10, 2010


DISCLAIMER: None of the information contained here should be considered medical advice. Alcohol and other drug detoxification should be done under medical and/or professional supervision. At the first sign of alcohol or drug withdrawal sysmpoms or discomfort, immediately seek medical advice. Do not attempt to detox from alcohol or other drugs without proper medical supervision. If you feel that you have a medical emergency, call 911 and seek local advice.

  • Get Help Now: