Synthetic Cannabis, also known by its brand names Spice and K2, is a legal herb laced with chemicals. Many who've tried it say it's just like smoking marijuana, and in some cases even stronger. Experts with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) are concerned. Their concern is growing. Spice is easily obtainable because it is sold at many ‘head shops,’ gas stations, and convenience stores under the guise of aromatherapy incense and herbal incense. It isn’t regulated, and it can cause serious impairment, and also serious side effects.
What is in Spice?
Manufacturers of synthetic cannabis claim a mixture of traditionally used medicinal herbs, each of which is alleged to produce mild effects, but the overall blend results in cannabis type intoxication. The packaging states the following ingredients:
- Canavalia maritima,
- Nymphaea caerulea,
- Scutellaria nana,
- Pedicularis densiflora,
- Leonotis leonurus,
- Zornia latifolia,
- Nelumbo nucifera, and
- Leonurus sibiricus.
However, testing that has been done on the contents inside the package do not indicate these ingredients, and in fact it was unclear what the actual plant ingredients were, where the synthetic tocopherol had come from, and whether the subjective cannabis-like effects were actually produced by any of the claimed plant ingredients or instead might possibly be caused by a synthetic cannabinoid drug.
How was Spice Created?
Spice is synthetic marijuana, and was created more than 10 years ago. It has been marketed as K2 or Spice, and the most common compound found in these products is "JWH-018," which is a chemical first synthesized by Professor John W. Huffman. Huffman is a research professor of organic chemistry at Clemson University in South Carolina, and his principal emphasis is on the synthesis of THC, and other developments of new pharmaceutical products of the brain and its receptors.
What are the Side Effects of Spice?
Spice has many side effects. Side effects like severe anxiety attacks, hallucinations, nausea, seizures and paranoia. In many cases users are rushed to hospital emergency rooms. Unfortunately there isn’t a way to test for Spice because of manufacturers variations. Simply, no one knows what to look for and the physicians would need to know the user ingested Spice.
Making Spice Illegal
On November 24, 2010, the DEA announced that it would make JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497 and cannabicyclohexanol, which are often found in synthetic cannabis, illegal using emergency powers. They will be placed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, within a month of the announcement, and the ban will last for at least a year. The temporary ban, for at least a year, came in to effect on March 1, 2011. Do You Have Questions About Spice?
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