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The Dangers of Synthetic Weed

In recent years, a wide range of synthetic drugs has made its way onto the market. Many of these products are sold at convenience stores and tobacco shops since they are deemed legal. You can even find them online at various websites.

With synthetic cannabinoid products being so readily available, it has led to a wide range of concerns and problems. Some people use the fake weed and have bad reactions that require calling 911. Some people use it once and wake up in the hospital. Other people are not so lucky and experience serious side effects like seizures, a heart attack, or stroke-like reactions that result in death.

What Is Synthetic Weed?

Synthetic weed is manufactured using man-made mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed onto some sort of dried plant material or added to vaping juice. The chemicals are meant to mimic the effects of THC found in marijuana.

However, there is no way to know what chemicals were used in the fake weed, as each manufacturer creates its own chemical blend. Producers of these products will market it as an alternative to marijuana where marijuana is legalized in the United States.

In places where marijuana is not legalized, it is marketed as liquid or herbal incense. Manufacturers will typically put a disclaimer on the package that states their products are not for human consumption, to protect themselves from lawsuits.

Some of the more common product names being used to market and sell synthetic weed include:

  • K2
  • Spice
  • Blaze
  • Scooby Snax
  • Cloud 9
  • Joker
  • Blueberry Haze
  • Black Mamba
  • Hawaiian Hybrid
  • Puff
  • Kush
  • Voodoo Spice
  • Kronic
  • Herbal Smoke

There is a host of other product names and street names as well. One of the key indicators that the product is potentially fake weed is its packaging. The packages are often foil packages that are bright and colorful and have some sort of designer logo or image on the outside that draws people’s attention.

The primary groups manufacturers target are tweens, teens, and young adults. These particular groups are very impressionable and easy to persuade to use synthetic cannabinoid products. They are not aware of the warnings issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Drug Abuse about the dangers of using products called synthetic marijuana.

How Is Synthetic Weed Used?

Synthetic weed is used in various ways just like marijuana. Some people roll it up and smoke it. Other people mix synthetic weed with real weed and smoke it. The liquid format can also be used to brew tea or is added to beverages. Others use it in vaping devices.

Why Do People Abuse Synthetic Weed?

Synthetic weed is easy to obtain. The people using the products assume they are getting a natural plant-material-based product that has similar chemical characteristics to marijuana. Another reason to abuse these products is that the chemicals used in them are not detected by drug-screening tests.

How Does Synthetic Weed Affect the Body?

young man suffering stomach pain

Many of the chemicals mimic the effects of THC on receptors in the brain. Since the chemicals are stronger than THC, their effects are difficult to determine. Some people can exhibit violent behavior when they normally wouldn’t.

For example, while under the effects of fake weed, they might be quick to anger and have violent outbursts toward others. There have been reported cases where people have been bitten by those using synthetic drugs.

Other people could have a toxic reaction to the chemicals where they have severe stomach cramps and start vomiting, much like being poisoned. Yet others have reactions similar to getting high with real marijuana.

Since each product uses a different chemical mixture, it is difficult to gauge the overall effects on the body. Each batch can also have different levels of chemicals, changing the toxicity of the products. As such, the effects can include:

  • Hallucination
  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Violence
  • Relaxation
  • Detachment from Reality
  • Altered Perceptions
  • Paranoia
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Seizures
  • Kidney Damage/Renal Failure
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Coma

Since the effects are unpredictable, it makes using synthetic cannabinoid products very dangerous. Someone might have an experience similar to using real marijuana with one batch. The next batch they use could result in more serious and severe effects like seizures or difficulty breathing.

Is Synthetic Weed Addictive?

Young man in agony having problems with narcotics

The chemicals used in synthetic weed can cause addiction—that is, if someone does not overdose or have a severe reaction. The long-term health effects of fake weed could also cause mental health problems.

Should I Stop Synthetic Weed Cold Turkey?

As with any addictive substance, it is never a good idea to stop cold turkey if you have developed a dependence or addiction to synthetic weed. It is better to seek help with detox from synthetic weed that is medically supervised, as there can be a wide range of withdrawal symptoms, some of them life-threatening.

After detox, you can continue getting help for your dependence or addiction through outpatient or inpatient addiction treatment programs at a qualified treatment center like RECO Intensive in Delray Beach, FL.

For further information or assistance with substance abuse of synthetic weed, alcohol, or other drugs, please feel free to contact us at 561-501-2439 today!

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