Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as K2, spice, or fake weed, actually do not contain marijuana. They are man-made chemicals that can be either sprayed on dried plants and smoked or sold as liquids to be inhaled in e-cigarettes or other vape devices. These products are also known as herbal or liquid incense. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, 2018).
Synthetic cannabinoids can be anywhere from 2 to 100 times more potent than THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. That broad range is due to the additives changing from batch to batch. Since the contents in each batch can vary significantly, users are at high risk of severe health complications, overdose, and death.
The effects of synthetic cannabinoids
These products often contain substances that cause different effects from what is expected. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, synthetic cannabinoids cause psychotic effects, such as severe anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations. Synthetic cannabinoids can also cause serious mental and physical health problems including rapid heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, and they can be addictive.
Earlier in 2018, three people died and more than 100 were sickened after taking synthetic cannabinoids. Devin Powell wrote an article on the effects of synthetic marijuana for the Scientific American (2018) and stated, “An ongoing investigation has identified a likely culprit in the blood of those affected: rat poison, specifically brodifacoum.” Symptoms were documented by poison centers in the Midwest and Maryland, where people who used synthetic cannabinoids were suffering from unexplained bruising, coughing up blood, bleeding from the nose and gums, blood in urine and feces, and excessively heavy menstruation.
Zombie-like effects of K2
In August 2018, nearly 100 people overdosed from K2 near Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Some reported that people were convulsing, having seizures and looked like zombies with blank stares. (Davis Dunavin, WSHU, 2018). Opioids, such as fentanyl, are often added to the synthetic cannabinoids to produce an even stronger effect. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Synthetic cannabinoids are deadly. If you or a loved one is suffering from drug abuse or addiction, get help today. Addiction is complicated, treatment is available and there is hope in recovery. Get help now and you can enjoy a healthy, new sober lifestyle.
The Fort Worth Recovery umbrella covers medically supervised detox, as well as residential programs for men and women alike. Our programs are abstinence-based and combine a 12-step approach with a strong mental health component, integrating cutting-edge techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing, and Motivational Interviewing. For more information or to start your healing journey, please fill out a contact request form and one of our recovery experts will connect with you shortly.