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November 12, 2019
-K2, also known as Spice, is a synthetic marijuana substance composed of a wide variety of herbal mixtures which produce similar effects to marijuana, however these products are marketed as “safe” and legal alternatives. Synthetic marijuana products typically contain dried, shredded plant material and chemical additives which are responsible for their mind-altering effects.
Being as though synthetic marijuana is often marketed as a safer alternative to marijuana, labels on synthetic marijuana products often claim to contain natural psychoactive ingredients derived from a variety of plants, however the active ingredients are actually synthetic cannabinoid compounds. Due to the chemicals used in synthetic marijuana products having high potential for abuse and no benefits for medical use, the DEA has classified synthetic marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, therefore it is illegal to buy, sell, or possess these products. In spite of the drug being illegal, for several years, synthetic marijuana products have been sold and marketed for sale at head shops, gas stations, and via the internet, making the product easily accessible.
The use of K2/Spice, is primarily in younger people, typically high school students. The popularity of synthetic marijuana among school-aged users can be attributed to the easy access and misconception that synthetic marijuana products are natural, therefore making them seem harmless. The popularity of synthetic marijuana use can also be attributed to the chemicals used in this drug are not easily detect in drug tests, allowing users to experience what they believe is a similar high to marijuana without testing positive for the drug in drug tests.
As with many other drugs, K2’s effects on the brain are severe. Many K2/Spice users have reported experiencing effects similar to the ones produced by using marijuana, such as elevated mood, relaxation, and altered perception. Users have also reported experiencing psychotic effects such as extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. Thus far, there has not been much research conducted on the effects of K2/Spice on the brain, however it has been found that cannabinoid compounds which can be found in synthetic marijuana, act on the same cell receptors as THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. THC is responsible for the symptoms of addiction of K2. However, some of the compounds in synthetic marijuana bind more strongly to those receptors which could induce more powerful and unpredictable effects. Due to the chemical composition of many products being sold as synthetic marijuana being unknown, it could impose great danger to its users by causing dramatically different effects on the user’s brain than expected. With drugs such as synthetic marijuana having an unpredictable course, the effects can cause irreversible damage to the brain.
If you or a loved one are currently suffering from a synthetic marijuana use problem, we strongly encourage you to seek professional help, as leaving this problem untreated could impose great danger to your overall health. At Harbor Village we provide comprehensive synthetic marijuana treatment services for those seeking to successfully overcome their substance use problem. We can help you achieve a complete and successful recovery with the help of effective treatment approaches and genuine care and support from our genuinely dedicated staff. To get started with your lifelong recovery, call our free and confidential helpline now!