What Is Synthetic Marijuana?
Synthetic marijuana, also commonly referred to as “Spice” or “K2,” is a class of man-made drugs which have been designed to mimic the effects of THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Synthetic marijuana is variety of herbal mixtures which are often found in the form of dried, shredded plant materials which have been sprayed with chemical additives which induce mind-altering effects. Synthetic marijuana can be highly addictive if used continuously over a span of time. There is a popular belief that this drug is a safer alternative to marijuana, however, the chemicals which are synthesized for the production of synthetic marijuana have the potential to be more potent than THC and can have more dangerous effects. Synthetic marijuana was highly popular among high school students and young adults because it is legally obtainable in local gas stations and convenience stores. However, as of 2012 a national ban has been placed on the sale of synthetic cannabinoids after many users were hospitalized as a result of using the substance.
Effects of Synthetic Marijuana
Users of synthetic marijuana report that the drug induces effects similar to marijuana abuse such as elevated mood, relaxation, and altered perception. Synthetic marijuana abuse can also induce psychotic effects such as anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. Other effects associated with synthetic marijuana use includes profuse sweating, paranoia, confusion, kidney damage, high blood pressure and seizures. Due to synthetic marijuana being fairly new to the drug market, there is little information on the long-term effects of the drug. However, although the drug is marketed as a safer alternative to marijuana, synthetic marijuana has very dangerous effects and consequences. The most detrimental effect of using synthetic marijuana is that it can induce sudden, untimely death. Users of synthetic marijuana have also reported experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Recognizing Spice Dependency
Unlike marijuana, synthetic marijuana is very addictive and can cause its users to develop a dependency on the drug. Being as though there are a vast variety of chemical compound ingredients in synthetic marijuana, the symptoms of use vary from user to user. Some of the more common signs and symptoms which indicate synthetic marijuana abuse and addiction:
- Abusing marijuana to feel “normal”
- Inability to control use of synthetic marijuana
- Extreme depressive episodes
- Elevated mood
- Altered perceptions
- Abrupt and extreme angry outbursts
- Physical aggression
- Abrupt stints of extreme hyperactivity
- Experiencing unusual sleepiness
- Extreme anxiety
- Experiencing difficulties in interpersonal relationships
- Irreversible cognitive impairment
- Decreased performance at school, work and/or social circles
If you are led to believe you or a loved one may be addicted to synthetic marijuana, seek professional medical assistance to ensure a safe and effective recovery from addiction.
Going Through Withdrawal From Synthetic Marijuana
The onset of withdrawal symptoms from heavy use of synthetic marijuana can vary, some might suffer symptoms of withdrawal just hours after their last use of synthetic marijuana, while others don’t experience any symptoms at all. Withdrawal from synthetic marijuana can often be very difficult for addicts. Some of the most widely reported symptoms of withdrawal associated with synthetic marijuana includes:
- Loss of appetite
- Profuse sweating
- Intense cravings
- Sleeping difficulties
- Lack of motivation
- Experiencing Psychotic episodes
- Experiencing thoughts of suicide
- Lack of motivation
- Suicidal thoughts
It is not recommended for those who are dependent on spice to attempt withdrawing on their own, it is important to seek medical attention to ensure your safety during your withdrawal phase.
Synthetic Marijuana & Marijuana Abuse Treatment
With proper marijuana treatment an addiction to synthetic marijuana can be treated. There are currently no medications which have been specified for treating synthetic marijuana addiction, however the condition is still capable of being effectively treated. However, with the implementation of a combination of psychotherapeutic approaches such as behavioral therapies and counseling, and support groups, overcoming an addiction is possible! To learn more about how to receive effective marijuana treatment for your addiction or assisting a loved one with getting started in marijuana treatment, give Harbor Village a call!