Users of synthetic pot don't realize the risks they're actually taking each time they light up. Herbal mixtures (synthetic marijuana) containing dangerous chemical additives that produce mind-altering effects can be obtained under many different names which include Spice, K2, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, Fake Weed, Blueberry Spice, and Strawberry Fields among others.
Even though these mixtures are marketed under different names, they're synthetic designer drugs that are used as a substitute for marijuana. The use of synthetic marijuana has been linked to very serious illnesses and unfortunately the loss of many lives.
Even though in July of this year a national ban was passed against the sale of synthetic cannabinoids, this hasn't stopped the selling, purchase or use of fake marijuana. There are still a lot of stores selling K2 and Spice and these drugs also continue to be obtainable online. Unfortunately a lot of young people continue to use synthetic marijuana in spite of the dangers and sadly, end up in the emergency room or are even hospitalized with serious health related complications which are sometimes fatal.
The use of synthetic pot is quite popular among young people today because the effects are similar to marijuana but there's very serious health risks associated with the drugs. Even though many states have passed laws and banned the sale of synthetic marijuana because of the serious health related dangers involved, K2 and Spice are still easily obtained. Authorities continue to do their best in shutting down the sale of dangerous synthetic drugs like K2 and Spice but unfortunately the problem continues to exist in many areas.
Ten convenience stores were raided and fifteen individuals were arrested for selling synthetic marijuana even though retailers were warned to stop selling the designer drug according to an article on tampabay.com.
According to courant.com, 3 stores were raided in Brooklyn and Putnam by State Troopers where teens had "purchased synthetic marijuana and bath salts".
Herbal products such as K2 and Spice are sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids and aren't derived from the marijuana plant like some people may think. They're designed to produce similar effects of marijuana but have been marketed as legal products labeled "not for human consumption". Not all synthetic cannabinoids contain the exact same ingredients so it's not easy to determine the exact "physical effects" that synthetic cannabinoids cause according to SAMHSA.
Dangers Associated with Synthetic Marijuana Use
Many synthetic marijuana users end up in the emergency department. The use of synthetic marijuana is very widespread especially among young people in spite of the risks associated with synthetic drugs. Many young people end up in the ER every year due to use of synthetic marijuana and according to a report from SAMHSA, "11,406 of the 4.9 million" drug related ED visits in 2010 were associated with synthetic cannabinoids. 75% of those ED visits were patients 12 to 29 years old and 78% of them were males.
Symptoms that have been reported associated with the use of synthetic cannabinoids include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Elevated blood pressure
- Paranoid behavior
Some spice mixtures are marketed and sold as incense and some of the products actually look like potpourri but they're not really intended to be used as room fragrance. Designer synthetic drugs are very dangerous and a person is risking their life when they use these drugs because you never know what ingredients have been combined. Not only are users taking the risk of obtaining tainted synthetic marijuana, they never know how their own body will react when they use the substance.
Young People Sickened After Using Tainted Blueberry Spice
In March 2012 health officials in Wyoming investigated "an outbreak of kidney failure" that was associated with synthetic marijuana called "spice" according to abcnews.go.com. Five people that went to the hospital with pain in their backs, stomach and vomiting reported either "smoking or ingesting" synthetic marijuana called "blueberry-flavored spice". Three of them were admitted to the hospital and the other two were released after being treated.
Synthetic Marijuana Responsible for Death of 13 Year Old
A thirteen year old had to receive a "double-lung transplant" after smoking fake marijuana because the dangerous substance damaged his lungs according to triblive.com. Sadly an infection developed and because his body was too weak to fight it off, he passed away.
Most young people that use synthetic marijuana feel it's harmless but those are the ones that were fortunate enough not to have become extremely ill or faced life threatening complications. There's no way of knowing the exact ingredients in K2, Spice or any other synthetic drug so every time a person uses synthetic pot, they're risking possible life-threatening consequences.