Since synthetic cannabinoids, sometimes known as synthetic marijuana or fake weed, were first developed in 2002, many people have utilized them as an alternative to marijuana. The cannabinoid system in the human brain is being studied by scientists using these man-made goods, yet they typically claim to be made of “natural” material derived from a variety of plants.
Numerous synthetic cannabinoids exist, and their effects may be unexpected or even deadly.
Legal bud, herbal smoke, marijuana substitutes, and fake cannabis are just a few of the many terms used to describe fake weed. Parents and other adults will have a difficult time recognizing them as a result of this. Indica-dominant strains like Ono Budz and Skunk have their own distinct brand names, such as Blaze, FirePower, Mabsooton, Blueberry Haze, Dank, Demon Passion Smoke, Genie, Hawaiian Hybrid, K2, Magma, Ninja, Nitro, Mister Nice Guy, Ono Budz, Panama Red Ball,Shady Grove, Puff, Shakshuka Herbal Smoke, Skunk, Spice, Ultra Chronic, and Voodoo Spice.
Synthetic marijuana is a novel psychoactive substance (NPS), which is a term for chemicals that affect the mind but are not subject to the same regulations as illicit narcotics.
Its side effects include increased mood, altered perception and psychotic symptoms such as high anxiety and paranoia as well as aggressive behavior and suicide thoughts. The medicine also raises blood pressure and causes vomiting and renal damage.
How to Spot Fake Cannabis –
Dried leaves from traditional herbal plants are frequently included in synthetic marijuana. Packets of two-by-three-inch packets of various hues, such as green, brown, blonde, and red, are common. Colorful foil packs or zip-top plastic bags are frequently used as the packaging material. Disclaimers like “not for human consumption” are used by certain internet vendors of legal imitation cannabis products.
What Is the Effect of Synthetic Cannabis?
The receptors on brain cells that THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) binds to are also found on fake cannabis (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gets you high). Vaporizing or smoking the herb is the most common method of ingestion. 1 Herbal incense and potpourri are legitimate terms for many of these goods.
A comparable high to that of marijuana is reported by some users of herbal buds, although it lasts just a fraction as long, according to these users. Rather than the “head high” that actual marijuana causes, others feel more calm. There are also reports of “harsh” flavor that “burns your throat and lungs” long after smoking.
You can’t tell exactly what the fake cannabis will do to your body because there are no guidelines for creating, packaging, or distributing synthetic weed.
What the Professionals Have to Say
Fake cannabis products are commonly advertised as “100% organic herbs,” but in reality, none of them are. Synthetic cannabinoids, or compounds created in laboratories, have been discovered in all of these products.
HU-210, a molecule with a molecular structure very similar to that of THC, was once used in the manufacture of imitation marijuana products. Only in Europe were these synthetic marijuana products created and sold, due to HU-210’s classification as a Schedule I restricted drug.
In the years afterwards, novel synthetic agonists for cannabinoids have been developed There are too many to mention. Some have a structure that’s comparable to THC, while others don’t. Controlled drugs can be found in a number of products. Using several synthetic marijuana blends, producers may continue to lawfully promote their goods in the United States even while another formulation is prohibited from being used inside.
The DEA asserts that the vast majority of these chemicals are made in Asia, where there are no standards or restrictions in place.
In the United States, they are smuggled into the country, where they are mixed with “plant material,” packaged, and sold in convenience stores and tobacco shops.
The use of some of these compounds is still permissible under current law. Some 20 of these chemicals have now been regulated by the federal government since they first appeared on the market in 2009. 2 They also mentioned the discovery of more than 75 new chemicals that are presently uncontrolled.
According to the DEA’s Drugs of Abuse reference guide, 15 different synthetic marijuana strains were designated as Schedule I restricted narcotics as of 2015. This places them in the same federal category as heroin, crack cocaine, and marijuana.
Because the chemicals are “legal” and the substances are “natural,” many consumers believe that imitation marijuana products are safe. However, several examples of significant, unexplained bleeding or bruises, and even some fatalities, have revealed this to be incorrect. Other reports show an increase in emergency room visits due to rapid heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, kidney damage, and seizures.
Some commercially available fake marijuana products claim to contain herbs that have traditionally been used for medicinal purposes, such as:
- MacKenzie bean (Canavalia maritima)
- Sacred blue lily (Nymphaea caerulea)
- Dwarf scullcap (Scutellaria nana)
- Warrior’s plume (Pedicularis densiflora)
- Sacred blue lily (Nymphaea caerulea)
- Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
- Siberian motherwort (Leonurus sibiricus)
However, one study discovered that some of the herbal ingredients listed by the manufacturers were not present in the products.
Aside from the synthetic cannibinoid HU-210, which scientists use to identify cannibinoid brain receptors and study the effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), there are no authorised or off-label medical uses for synthetic marijuana.
Common Adverse Effects
While research is being conducted, the effects of synthetic marijuana products on the human body are mostly unclear. Few investigations on the impact of the substances have been reported yet. Overdoses have been linked to deadly heart attacks, according to the DEA research. Acute renal impairment requiring hospitalization and dialysis has also been linked to these synthetics.
One research compared the amount of impairment for drivers detained for drunk driving.
One group had smoked synthetic cannabinoids, whereas the other had smoked marijuana. The synthetic marijuana group showed a considerable rise in bewilderment, disorientation, and incoherence, according to the research. Slurred speech was also noticed among those who had taken synthetic cannabinoids, which is not generally linked with natural cannabis usage.
Aside from the previously mentioned short-term effects, those who have used synthetic marijuana have reported a rise in blood pressure, and also seizures, tremors, and anxiety.
It is unknown if these reported symptoms will have long-term consequences, particularly for teenagers and young adults. Of course, smoking any chemical can be harmful to the lungs.
“The issue with JWH-018 (a synthetic cannabis molecule) is that nothing is known about its toxicity or metabolites,” says John Huffman, who assisted in the development of the JWH-018 chemical. “As a result, it is potentially hazardous and should not be utilized.” JWH-018, also known as 1-Pentyl-3-(1-naphthyl) indole, is one of the DEA’s Schedule I banned drugs.
In other cases, synthetic marijuana was spiked with rat poison, causing uncontrollable bleeding in thousands of people and killing many more who consumed the poisoned items.
If you or a loved one has taken synthetic marijuana and is having significant, unexplained bleeding or bruises, contact 911 immediately or ask a loved one to take you to the hospital. These are all indications of tainted cannabis products.
If you are a parent of a young adult, it is important to understand the behaviors and physical impacts of using synthetic marijuana. While one or two of these signals may not indicate that your child is taking drugs, they are all strong markers of drug usage and should be regarded carefully.
- Incense-burning behavior
- Purchasing or using eye drops
- Having dried plants or herbs
- Having a stash of rolling papers or vape pens
- Receiving strange things in the mail Acting unusually or secretively
Physical consequences –
- Eyes that are red or irritated
- Skin tone is light.
- Acting perplexed
Frequently Asked Questions
Herbal bud, contrary to popular misconception, is not “natural marijuana.” It is made up of hundreds of man-made synthetic compounds that are sprayed upon chopped plant material.
Synthetic marijuana is also significantly more strong, with THC analogs or synthetic cannabinoids up to 600 times more potent than THC present in marijuana.
In many cases, phony cannabis products contain chemicals, hazardous contaminants, and other sorts of medications.
Withdrawal, Tolerance, and Dependence
Regular use of “fake cannabis” can lead to tolerance, or the need for more and more of the substance to achieve the same high. You can become physically and mentally reliant on synthetic cannabis if you use them on a regular basis. This implies that if you quit abruptly, you will almost certainly suffer withdrawal symptoms.
Tolerance, dependency, and withdrawal may vary since the chemical makeup of synthetic cannabis is unclear and can differ from batch to batch.
How Long Does Fake Marijuana Last in Your System?
The duration of synthetic cannabinoids in your system is determined by a number of factors, including the kind, how it is delivered (i.e., inhaled or eaten), the amount taken, and the frequency of usage. Because these synthetic medications do not provide a positive result on most normal urine drug tests, many people use them to evade positive drug tests for job, rehab, or legal reasons.
Regular usage of synthetic cannabis over time might lead to addiction. Addiction is more likely if you have a history of mental illness or a drug use problem.
In addition to developing a tolerance and suffering withdrawal symptoms, other indicators of synthetic cannabis addiction might include:
- You overuse, despite assuring yourself that you’ll only “take a few hits.”
- You are unable to reduce or stop, and you have most certainly failed to cease several times.
- You spend a lot of time getting high, which frequently comes at the price of spending time with loved ones or doing things you used to like.
- Despite any concerns with family and friends, work, or legal issues, you continue to use.
- You rely on the substance to “relax” or to be creative.
The withdrawal symptoms can range from moderate to extreme, depending on how frequently and how long you have used synthetic cannabis, and include the following:
- Anxiety is really high.
How to Obtain Support
If you believe someone you care about is using synthetic marijuana, the most essential thing you can do is spend time with them, educate them on the risks of fake cannabis, and keep an eye out for indicators of usage. While behavioral treatments and pharmaceuticals for the treatment of synthetic cannabis addiction have yet to be precisely proven, a healthcare expert may work with you and your beloved one to safely detox from the substance as well as diagnose and treat any founder mental illness.