Synthetic cannabinoids are a variety of manmade mind-altering chemicals that people use in place of marijuana. These chemicals were created by researchers to study the effects of cannabinoids on the brain. These chemicals are being sprayed onto dried plant leaves which are packaged and sold to be smoked as a “legal” marijuana alternative. You will also find them in liquid form, which can be vaporized and used in devices such as e-cigarettes.
How are synthetic cannabinoids similar to marijuana?
There are literally hundreds of chemicals that can be used to make synthetic cannabis. All of these chemicals mimic the effects of THC, the active compound in marijuana. According to the CDC, the similarity between synthetic cannabinoids and THC is that they affect the same parts of the brain, and in the same manner. Consequently, the high that you get from smoking synthetic cannabis is very similar to that of smoking marijuana; hence synthetic cannabinoids are commonly referred to as “fake weed”.
Synthetic cannabinoids are harmful and here is why
While synthetic cannabinoids and marijuana may provide similar effects when consumed, they are very far from being alike. In his research report, medical toxicologist Patrick Lank, M.D. mentions that he does not like to refer to synthetic cannabinoids as “fake weed” or “fake marijuana” and states “I don’t want anyone to think these substances are anything like marijuana. The medical complications from them are much more severe and really hard to predict.”
One major issue with synthetic cannabinoids is that they are currently unregulated, meaning, there are no set standards for making them. Without any standards to meet, you will find that two packets of the same brand of synthetic weed will have different chemical compositions. One pack may have a much larger amount of synthetic cannabinoid chemicals in it, and sometimes even a different chemical combination altogether. Consequently, you will likely have a different reaction with each packet that you smoke, and there is no telling what that reaction will be.
Synthetic cannabinoids have also been shown to sometimes be contaminated with toxic chemicals like bath salts which can cause some serious adverse reactions on your body.
Effects of Synthetic Cannabinoids on Your Body
Synthetic weed is known to affect brain function. Some symptoms that you might experience can include:
• Problems concentrating
• Suicidal thoughts
• Violent behavior
According to the CDC, depending on the specific synthetic cannabinoids, and the doses that you’re taking, there are other health issues that you may experience.
These issues may include:
• Breathing problems
• Gastrointestinal problems
• Heart attack
• High blood pressure
• Muscle damage
Needless to say, synthetic marijuana is unsafe and should be avoided at all costs. While some have gone without any of these effects, there are thousands of people who have had to be hospitalized after smoking synthetic cannabinoids. Unfortunately, some of these even turned in to fatalities. The only way to avoid being part of these statistics is to refrain from using these drugs.