Synthetic Marijuana – Fact or Fiction?

Often I write about interesting designer drugs that can be used as murder weapons (like “Molly” in a previous blog). Today, I’d like to discuss another popular designer drug that’s been in the news recently.

Synthetic marijuana first appeared in the United States around 2009. It’s aimages-1 psychoactive designer drug created by spraying natural herbs with legal chemicals that imitate the effects of cannabis.

The chemicals used in the spray are called cannabinoids because they mimic the effects of real cannabis. They’re used to avoid the laws that make cannabis illegal and, although these chemicals do create a psychotropic effect, they don’t produce positive drug test results.

The detrimental effects of using synthetic marijuana, however, include severe agitation and delirium, confusion and extreme sleepiness, kidney damage and seizures.

imagesThe drug is becoming increasingly popular among the teen crowd, with the biggest users in the 12-17 year-old age category. That’s because the product often is sold in stores as a household item and is sometimes labeled as herbal incense. In other retail establishments, like head shops and convenience stores, the product is marketed as “K2” or “Spice”.

The hidden dangers of synthetic psychoactive drugs, like synthetic cannabis, areMH900427604 that the legal chemicals used to mimic the psychotropic effects of the real drug often create a psychosis; that is, they facilitate the onset or worsening of existing psychiatric disorders and therefore can produce enhanced hallucinations, delusions, violence and impaired insight. So anyone with a predisposition to a psychotic episode could be pushed over the edge by using these legal alternatives.

When a product is designed to mimic the effects of an illegal drug but is made with legal ingredients, the DEA must create a specific law to make that product illegal. Until that happens, the drug is considered “unofficial but legal” in many jurisdictions. But, as soon as the DEA outlaws a specific drug, a new variation is often designed and marketed as the next big thrill.

Statistics show that there’s a growing parallel market, called the grey market, for these alternatives to illegal drugs, and as soon as their use is made illegal new ones become available. The DEA has identified over 200 such new substances in the last five years alone.

MH900439326It would seem possible to stem their growth by heightened laws and enforcement, but I continue to wonder if a more prudent approach would be public education starting at an early age regarding the dangers of using these “pop up drugs” ~

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

About James J. Murray, Fiction Writer

With experience in both pharmaceutical manufacturing and clinical patient management, medications and their impact on one’s quality of life have been my expertise. My secret passion of murder and mayhem, however, is a whole other matter. I’ve always loved reading murder mysteries and thrillers, and longed to weave such tales of my own. Drawing on my clinical expertise as a pharmacist and my infatuation with the lethal effects of drugs, my tales of murder, mayhem and medicine will have you looking over your shoulder and suspicious of anything in your medicine cabinet.
This entry was posted in A New Drug Abuse Threat, A New Street Drug, About James J. Murray, Blog Writers, Blogging, Chemicals Used For Murder, Deadly Drugs in America, Designer Drug Deaths, Designer Poisons Used For Murder, Dramatic Murder Weapons, Drug Abuse, Drug Misadventures, Drugs For Murder Plots, Drugs Used For Murder, Euphoric Party Drugs, Interesting Murder Weapons, K2 Use, Marijuana and Colorado, Marijuana Deaths, Murder With Party Drugs, Party Drugs, Psychoactive Designer Drugs, Spice and Recreational Drugs, Synthetic Cannabis, Synthetic Marijuana, Synthetic Marijuana and Colorado, Synthetic Marijuana and Teenagers, Synthetic Marijuana and Teens, The Science of Murder, Tools of Murder, Unique Murder Weapons, Ways To Kill, Ways to Murder and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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