Synthetic marijuana, also called K2, Spice and “fake weed,” is a drug that has only emerged in the last several years. When it first was being distributed, K2 and Spice promised similar effects to marijuana and said that these effects were created by releasing cannabinoids in the bloodstream. The drug itself was made of chemical sprayed onto herbs such as sage. Because the drug was initially unregulated and had a disclaimer that said “Not for Human Consumption,” there was never any exact formula for these drugs and many copycats emerged with slightly different formulations. Localities often outlawed synthetic marijuana, only to find a new formulation was already on the market.
Today there are over 100 types of synthetic marijuana-type drugs. Most are illegal and sold on the street, and many have caused dangerous side effects and overdoses. The drug is often used by people with little money and sold for $2 to $10, making them the cheapest illegal substance on the market. Some people choose to use synthetic drugs because they don’t show up on common drug tests. But there are a lot of dangers that go hand-in-hand with synthetic marijuana usage.
Synthetic Marijuana Isn’t Marijuana
Although the first incarnations of K2 and Spice contained cannabinoids, the drug is nothing like marijuana. It doesn’t produce the same “high,” and it is easy to overdose on. While marijuana is considered a “safe” drug by society, synthetic marijuana products are inherently dangerous. Marijuana is a plant that you can’t overdose and die from (but you can have an adverse reaction such as high heart rate, anxiety, etc.). Synthetic marijuana has a lot of dangerous “unknowns” when it comes to use. It can have an infinite amount of chemicals that can cause death and other permanent damage. You won’t know if the drug is “safe to use” until you’ve tried it, and the symptoms of an overdose or bad reaction may make it hard to seek help when you need it.
The Dangers of “Fake Weed”
Synthetic marijuana is dangerous. In recent months, people have used fake weed and died. Some variations sold on the street or online have contained rat poison that causes internal bleeding. People who even smoke a small amount have had seizures, trouble breathing, heart problems/attacks, and other bodily injuries that you would never see with marijuana unless it was “spiked” with dangerous chemicals as well.
There is no specific formula for fake marijuana, and that means that if you purchase and use it, you will never know what you’re getting or what dangers you are in. Some people may hallucinate while others may experience an immediate, physical reaction that requires medical attention.
K2 Use Symptoms
People who use K2 will act “high” when they’re on the drug. It can be similar to the symptoms displayed by opioid users. A user may be lethargic, giddy, paranoid or anxious. Some people will hallucinate and suffer delusions or panic attacks. Physically, they may have a rapid heart rate and breath quickly or feel sick (nauseous) or combative.
A person who is experiencing overdose may have bleeding from their eyes, ears, or other orifices. They may complain of pain but not be able to pinpoint it, and go in and out of consciousness. A K2 or synthetic marijuana overdose can be life-threatening. Seek medical help if you think you or somebody else may have smoked a “bad batch.”
People who use K2 regularly may experience severe withdrawal symptoms that need to be monitored closely. Synthetic weed is a drug that can cause dependency quickly, and withdrawal symptoms can vary because the contents of the drug itself vary.
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