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 two to one hundred times more potent than THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. That broad range is due to the additives changing from batch to batch. Since each batch’s contents can vary significantly, users are at high risk of severe health complications, overdose, and death. At Fort Behavioral Health, we offer the substance abuse treatment you need to overcome addiction.
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
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 one hundred 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.
The “Zombie” Effects of K2
In August 2018, nearly one hundred 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 fifty to one hundred times more potent than morphine.
Synthetic cannabinoids are deadly, but the thought of living life without these substances can be overwhelming for some people. This is not an indication of a lack of willpower; rather, it is a sign that the chemicals have changed the way that their brains are functioning. When brain function has changed due to addiction, it is nearly impossible to stop using the substances without professional help. This is where the expertise of the Fort Behavioral Health team comes in.
If you or a loved one is suffering from drug abuse or addiction, reach out to our compassionate team today. Addiction is complicated, treatment is available, but remember that there is hope in recovery. If you reach out for help, you can enjoy a healthy, new sober lifestyle.
Reach Out to Fort Behavioral Health Today and Start the Life You Deserve
Our Fort Behavioral Health team can equip you with the tools for long-lasting recovery. Depending on your needs, we can provide 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)
- Somatic experiencing program
- Motivational interviewing program
For more information or to start your healing journey, please fill out a contact request form or call 844.332.1807, and one of our recovery experts will connect with you shortly. Our dedicated team of professionals can help you, but you have to take the first step. Don’t wait any longer. Contact us today.