The Curious Case of Synthetic Marijuana

Spice Synthetic CannabisWhat could be more fascinating than achieving a high, safe and naturally? Definitely sounds like a good deal but sorry, we aren’t living in Utopia. It is easier to market the idea and similarly buy it because there is no danger involved so why resist the temptations, you may wonder.

Do you think something like “2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-5-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)phenol)” is natural?

What makes you think you are not being caged into fool’s paradise by consuming something with such a terrible chemical name and assuming it’s safer than natural weed?

Regardless to mention, all recreational drugs are hazardous but synthetic ones have triple the side effects. To help you understand it better, here is a brief guide that I hope will answer all your questions about synthetic marijuana.

What is Synthetic Marijuana?

Synthetic Marijuana, broadly referred to as a spice product, is an artificially produced designer drug sprayed on an herbal base and promoted as offering a natural high. Even though it is a recreational drug it mimics the medicinal effects of the original drug to counterbalance the detection in drug tests therefore it is not classified as illegal.

It came into existence in early 2000, sold under the popular brand names K2 and Spice as a natural herb providing the high effect. However, later on in 2008 a laboratory investigation proved it to be a synthetic cannabinoid. Synthetic Marijuana is a psychoactive drug, which means it is crafted to consciously suppress the neurotransmitters in the brain which alters the physiological and psychological processes, such as pain sensation, memory, perception, mood and appetite.

Is It Safer Than Weed?

As it doesn’t trigger a positive result in the drug test, it is considered as a completely safe and organic herb, causing no harm to the individual smoking it but such claims certainly don’t change the truth. Despite being legal, synthetic marijuana is more dangerous than natural weed.

There aren’t any scientific reports on exactly how much harm it can cause to a human body as so far these cannabinoid have been only tested on animals in the researches and studies which have been carried out. However, different user reports inform it is harsher than marijuana and that it makes your throat burn and lungs ache for a long time.

A study conducted by Professor John Huffman at the Clemson University suggested that the mystery about the toxicity or metabolites remain unsolved. Some chemical compounds act more strongly on the cannabinoid receptors, leading to a more unpredictable condition. It has significantly increased the potential harm, ergo you are advised not to consume it.

Another research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences conducted by Paul Prather, PhD, professor of pharmacology and toxicology mentions its potency can be hundred or more times greater than the common THC, that is to say a small amount of consumption can result in a maximal effect on the brain. With such high efficacy, no one can deny the adverse life-threatening effects linked with its consumption.

Is Synthetic Marijuana Addictive?

Unlike the other cannabis, the metabolites in synthetic marijuana damage the brain rapidly. Most of the times when metabolites disturbs the physiological process, the body deactivates the drug but synthetic marijuana is different. The metabolites in this case are attached to the receptors which decrease the ability of the body to deactivate it. As a consequence, the body becomes highly dependent on it.

One other difference between natural and synthetic marijuana is that the former contains a component called cannibidiol which is absent in synthetic marijuana. Cannibidiol hampers the addictiveness of THC and the lack of its presence in synthetic marijuana is prone to making you an addict quicker as compared with natural weed.

What Are The Side Effects?

Due to the lack of research and unavailability of scientific proofs, the side effects are highlighted only in general consumer reports. Nevertheless, hospital reports have shown cases ranging from seizure to acute psychosis leading to death. The quick effects include self harm, inability to fulfill responsibilities, conflicts in family and public relations, academic failure or loss of employment if usage increases.

The dramatic psychotic condition induced by synthetic marijuana due to the lack of cannabidiol has been reported to persist longer than seven months or even longer in some cases. Over the last couple of years, the number of cases has skyrocketed, signaling increased usage of the drug.

Some of the widely experienced side effects are:

  • Fatal mental health disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Respiratory failure
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Organ damage or failure
  • Stroke
  • Paralysis
  • Coma

What Are The Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person depending on your addiction and for how long you have been smoking. Spice drugs cause the brain to become dependent on it and when you start staying away from it, it will keep reminding you that you can’t live without it.

The common symptoms are:

Mental Symptoms

  • Aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Mood disorders
  • Intense craving
  • Insomnia
  • Depression/Anxiety/Stress
  • Suicidal ideation and attempts
  • Psychotic Episodes

Physical Symptoms

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/Diarrhea/Vomiting
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Numbness
  • Blurred vision/ Agitation
  • Lack of motivation/Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Headache

Some might experience severe conditions of all of these symptoms, while others might have to deal with moderate side effects which don’t cause as much damage. This period is going to be tough but it is absolutely worth the suffering in order to be free and liberated. Remember, this time will pass and you will get your reward. By continuing to smoke and delaying the process of quitting, you will only make it harder for yourself. The more time you will take to stop, the more severe withdrawal symptoms you will experience.

Look out for a support system, take help from friends and family and the process will become automatically much easier. Once you get through it, you will not only be free but also stronger than you have ever been.

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