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The Dangerous Rise of Synthetic Weed and Its Effects on Mental Health

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The Dangerous Rise of Synthetic Weed and Its Effects on Mental Health

spice drug

Most people have heard of the latest trend of synthetic cannabis, often claiming its “safety” or how harmless it really is. Teens and young adults are using this drug more than ever, and for some, the consequences have been extremely dangerous and in some cases, fatal.

The marketing for synthetic marijuana has been very cunning, often advertising the products as safe or harmless. The mixtures of numerous herbal ingredients do simulate a marijuana-like “high“. It is often sold as “incense” and labels on the package often warn consumers that the product is “not for human consumption”, a disclaimer by the makers of the product.

More times than not the contents resemble potpourri. It may contain dried, shredded plant material and chemicals that create the mind-altering effects. People buy it in head shops, convenience stores, and even on the Internet.

It is illegal to sell synthetic marijuana in some states. Most people compare synthetic cannabis to the new trend of homemade drugs such as “bath salts”. These products are known by such names as:

–> K2

–> Black mamba

–> Spice

–> Skunk

–> Fake weed

–> Genie

–> Zohai

–> Yucatan fire

–> Genie

Like marijuana, this drug is mainly smoked.


Symptoms After Smoking Synthetic Cannabis

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has warned the public that smoking synthetic cannabinoids can result in symptoms that range from seizures to hallucinations to acute psychosis.

Most people whom are diagnosed with schizophrenia are between the ages of 18-24. Some people have a pre-disposition to this mental illness, which means that they are at a much higher risk of developing the long term chronic mental health illness.

According to the DSM-4, Schizophrenia is characterized by profound disruption in cognition and emotion, affecting the most fundamental human attributes:

–> Language

–> Thought

–> Perception

–> Affect

–> Sense of self

The array of symptoms, while wide ranging, frequently include psychotic manifestations, such as hearing internal voices, experiencing other sensations not connected to an obvious source (hallucinations), assigning unusual significance or meaning to normal events, or holding fixed false personal beliefs (delusions).

It has been determined that young adults who smoke synthetic cannabis and have a pre-disposition for this disease are putting themselves at a huge risk for early onset.

synthetic weed infographic

Young People Beware

Unfortunately these products are popular among young people; of the illicit drugs most used by high school seniors, they are the second most abused drug. (They are more popular among boys than girls; sadly males have a higher risk of developing mental illness during this time period. Almost twice as many male senior students reported past-year use of synthetic marijuana as females in the same age group.)

The accessibility and the false notion that these products are “natural” and therefore will not cause ill effects have likely contributed to their popularity. Another selling point is that the chemicals used in Synthetic cannabis are not easily detected in standard drug tests, therefore young people on probation and are undergoing random drug screens who are likely to use these drugs. This increases the risk for the possible harm to this population.

More needs to be done on banning the production of this drug and stopping sales on Internet. The Drug Enforcement Agency has been developing undercover teams to arrest the makers of these products.


References & Image Credits:
(1) ASAM
(2) DSM-4
(3) Wikipedia
(4) To the Maximus Foundation

Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com

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  • Anonymous

    Interesting! Thanks for your continued health information, Jen.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting! Thanks for your continued health information, Jen.

  • Chris

    Precisely why the real (and infinitely less harmful) thing should be legal. Prohibition doesn’t work. People will do drugs. Abstinence doesn’t work. People will have sex. Any argument to the contrary simply ignoring reality. All the drug and sex education in the world won’t stop it. So present safe alternatives, (not the same as advocating them). Giving a kid a condom isn’t the same as saying “go sleep with every girl you can,” nor is acknowledging the relative safety of real marijuana (even when compared to aspirin and coffee in terms of toxicity) suggesting to kids it’s ok to binge on weed. But the truth is that weed is really the least of all evils for kids who are dead set on doing drugs anyways. And for adults, there is no reason they should be stopped from using cannabis legally. Or just keep spending billions of dollars on the failed drug war I guess…

  • Dude

    Calling it synthetic cannabis is not quite right. All cannabinomimetic’s have been banned since 2012. The chemicals they are now spraying this “incense” is worse than most of what was banned by Shumer’s Law last year. Most stores that sell these product’s do so knowing full well that it is being purchased to be smoked. For them it is a easy buck. Ohio’s Twilight Boutique is one of the worst. Having made their money first with Bath Salt’s. Then when that was banned moving on to Potpourri.
    It is their best selling product. With brands such as Bizzaro, orgazmo, Death Grip, and Maya Blue. They sell it knowing that it is addictive, and use as a substitute for pot. When it looks like they are going to be raided, or that legal action is going to be taken against them they simply pull it from the shelves. It is never gone for more than a few weeks.

  • Dude

    Calling it synthetic cannabis is not quite right. All cannabinomimetic’s have been banned since 2012. The chemicals they are now spraying this “incense” is worse than most of what was banned by Shumer’s Law last year. Most stores that sell these product’s do so knowing full well that it is being purchased to be smoked. For them it is a easy buck. Ohio’s Twilight Boutique is one of the worst. Having made their money first with Bath Salt’s. Then when that was banned moving on to Potpourri.
    It is their best selling product. With brands such as Bizzaro, orgazmo, Death Grip, and Maya Blue. They sell it knowing that it is addictive, and use as a substitute for pot. When it looks like they are going to be raided, or that legal action is going to be taken against them they simply pull it from the shelves. It is never gone for more than a few weeks.

  • Nik

    I just did this yesterday. Well it was Saturday night. And now it’s Monday. Anyway, I took it from a. Friend thinking I could trust him and I took six big hits from it. I didn’t know anything about he drug at all. DO NOT DO IT! It’s not worth it. I was floating and I needed out of the high when I was in it. I don’t remember much if the beginning but I know that I thought I was in a nightmare. It felt like I was in a dream but I was awake. We were driving but I had to be cool for my friend so I couldn’t freak out. But inside I was screaming for help. I texted some friends to help me but no one would or could. They thought I was joking around. I knew people who did drugs did in fact ask to go to the hospital and whoever says that..you should listen becae I almost wish I did go. I was literally crying for help on the inside. I had a conversation with my subconscious. Like you know that little voice in your head that tells you yes or no? Whoever they were walked me through everything. It’s like my body got possessed. On the outside I was making good decisions. Really good decisions. But on the inside I was screaming and wasn’t sure what in the world was going on. I had a talk with all my friends which never happened and I remember my mind went elsewherre.
    My body told my subconscious ( well say sub for shirt) that I shouldn’t lay down. I started tripping sooooooo hard it wasn’t funny. I could feel myself losing touch with reality. I told myself I had to fight for reality. It was the hardest thing I’ve down in my entire life because I it was all a mental battle. No one else could help me. And I just wanted to sleep it off but sub told me that if I went to sleep I wouldn’t wake up. So I trusted sub. I sat up and I watched the road. But that was so hard cause we were moving and it looked sideways to me:/ and I just wanted it to stop. This synthetic weed was the worst decision I have ever made. Please don’t do it. It’s Monday and my brain is STILL fucked up and I’m not sure if ill ever get out of this. I’m losing touch with reality and I don’t want everyday of my life to be a trip. I’m going to detox my body and hope for the best. If not.. I’m stuck
    If anyone has advice it’d be amazing if you could tell me but as if that all I have for anyone else is a warning that synthetic weed is a terrrrrrrrible decision


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