While our country is still plagued with the opiate crisis, there is another dangerous drug that’s falling into the hands of our kids at a fast pace, that is, synthetic marijuana. A harmful message is sent to our younger generation as states pass the legalization of marijuana, offering it as a harmless and safe drug. The problem worsens when our young people believe synthetic marijuana is the same as natural marijuana. They do realize nothing could be farther from the truth. Young people across the country are becoming critically ill and died after having synthetic marijuana, even after their first time using it.
Synthetic marijuana is commonly referred to as “Spice” or “K2” and is a combination of herbs and spices. These spices have been coated with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The chemical compounds typically include HU-210, HU-211, JWH-018, and JWH-073, but there are countless more as chemists “tweak” the formula in an attempt to stay ahead of the law.
Users and sellers must know that “tweaking” the compound make-up of a drug is still illegal. The altered substance might be a new formula, also known as an analog, but it comprises similar chemical compounds to people that are banned and therefore still prohibited under the Federal Analogue Act, 21 U.S.C., Section 813. An analog of a medication is a created variation that’s chemically or pharmacologically similar to an original or established formula (another present analog.) A controlled substance analog shall, to the extent intended for human consumption, be treated for any Federal law, as a controlled substance in schedule I. The vast majority of states have also implemented analog state laws to combat the abuse and sale of synthetic drugs, as well as the existing Federal regulations.
Synthetic marijuana is commonly purchased in head shops, tobacco shops, gas stations, and over the internet. It is often marketed as incense or “fake weed”, and the packaging is labeled “Not for Human Consumption.” The synthetic marijuana chemists erroneously believe selling the product as incense or potpourri will protect them from federal prosecution. Synthetic marijuana street names include Bliss, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Fake Weed, Genie, Mojo, Scooby Snax, Spice, Zohai, and others.
The chemists who produce these synthetic cannabinoids do this by spraying chemicals on shredded plant and herb material. As a result of the reactions between the chemicals and plant substances, some synthetic cannabinoids can be up to 100X more potent than natural THC. These chemicals are often not products intended for human consumption and undiluted, many are lethal. The use of these chemicals causes a substantial number of dangers and negative side effects such as high blood pressure, blurred vision, heart attack, nausea, seizures, hallucinations, severe anxiety, paranoia, violent behavior, and departure.
Synthetic marijuana is typically sold in a colorful pack comprising a dried brown or green plant material. However, as “vaping” and using e-cigarettes utilizing liquid variations of tobacco substitutes increases in popularity, an increase in the marketing of liquid forms of synthetic marijuana was noticed. Internet sites sell liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices, which are other kinds of synthetic marijuana.
Parents should monitor their children’s behavior and have discussions with their kids about the dangers of synthetic drugs and send them to an addiction treatment center if needed, call this rehab hotline. Irrespective of the legal issues involving natural and synthetic marijuana, the statistics show marijuana is the most highly abused drug among adolescents and is a gateway drug to the dependence of prescription and street drugs in the future, including heroin.
Parents and teachers should monitor their children when making any online purchases, or purchase items from local small shops. Some stores may keep the synthetic weed out of sight to prevent law enforcement, but offer to sell it from behind the counter. When faced, if a child or pupil possesses a package labeled “Not for Human Consumption”, the material ought to be seized and turned over to the local authorities. The dangers of synthetic drug use cannot be overstated to kids and other potential users.