Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found within the cannabis plant, they usually interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Synthetic cannabinoids on the other hand are a man-made version of cannabinoids. These synthetic cannabinoids claim to be a ‘legal’ alternative to cannabis but that cannot be further from the truth.
What Are Synthetic Cannabinoids?
They have many names, ‘K2’, ‘Spice’, ‘Kronic’, ‘Kush’, ‘Scooby Snax’. But they all refer to synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids are part of a group named New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) by the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Synthetic cannabinoids are exactly as their name suggests, synthetic and man-made. Synthetic cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system the same way as THC, which is why it induces a psychoactive effect when taken.
Due to its similarity, synthetic cannabinoids often get marketed by sellers as “fake marijuana” and claims that it is a legal and safer alternative to the drug. This is not the case, as synthetic cannabinoids are unsafe for use and can affect the brain more intensely than marijuana.
Synthetic cannabinoids often get sold in colourful and attention-grabbing packaging, which helps attract more potential buyers. However, the colourful packaging serves as a distraction from the truth about this dangerous drug.
The chemical makeup of synthetic cannabinoids are often unknown or are never consistent as they are constantly modified to bypass laws that make these drugs illegal. This contributes further to the added dangers of synthetic cannabinoids.
This is why, most of the time, the effects of synthetic cannabinoids are unpredictable and could even be extremely detrimental, even life-threatening.
For example, using the drug bought from the same seller may give you a ‘pleasant high’ the first few times, but another time it could result in intense psychotic episodes or even worse, death. You’re essentially playing Russian roulette when using this drug, where your life hangs on luck. The ‘benefits’ synthetic cannabinoids give you is just not worth it, you never know when it could kill you.
Similarly to marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids can be used in a variety of ways such as:
- Smoking it the same way as marijuana
- Mixing the synthetic cannabinoid with marijuana and brewing it as tea
- Purchasing synthetic cannabinoids as a liquid to be used for e-cigarettes.
What Are The Effects Of Synthetic Cannabinoids?
The effects of synthetic cannabinoids are very unpredictable, some users report experiencing an intense psychoactive and ‘high’ effect, whereas some users report having intense episodes of psychosis.
Synthetic cannabinoids have a variety of immediate effects as long as some very detrimental long terms effects such as:
- Enlarged pupils
- Panic attacks
- Severe anxiety
- Chest pain
Long term effects
- Memory problems
Synthetic cannabinoids are addictive and can lead to withdrawal symptoms if usage were to cease, further solidifying how detrimental it is. Users can also overdose on synthetic cannabinoids if too much of the drug is taken, which could result in many severely harmful effects and even death.
The Legalities Of Synthetic Cannabinoids
Synthetic cannabinoids are often marketed as a legal alternative to marijuana. This is not true, they can market it as such due to the manufacturers changing the chemical compounds in their mixture.
The reason these manufacturers change the chemicals in the drug is that certain ingredients are made illegal by the government so they use different chemicals to make the drug. This allows them to market the products as legal due to a technicality, most people do not know this and assume that it means the drug is safe for consumption.
We want to reiterate that IT IS NOT TRUE, the production, supply and use of synthetic cannabinoids are illegal.
All over Australia, synthetic cannabinoids have been banned by their respective state governments:
- Victoria classifies synthetic cannabinoids as a drug of dependence in Schedule 11 as well as a Schedule 9 Poison.
- New South Wales has implemented blanket bans on selling any substance that produces a psychoactive effect when taken with exceptions to alcohol, tobacco and food.
- Western Australia regularly updates a blacklist of specific substances associated with the production of synthetic cannabinoids and other NPSs
In conclusion, synthetic cannabinoids are dangerous man-made substances that are intended to mimic the effects of natural marijuana. They are often marketed as a legal and safe alternative to the drug, which is false.
Synthetic Cannabinoids are incredibly unpredictable in their effects and can lead to serious immediate and long term effects on the body and brain.
Here at Altmed, we do not agree with the usage and production of synthetic cannabinoids due to the sheer detriment from using the drug and the little benefits that come along with such a huge risk.
As always, remember to consult an expert or your doctor before taking any form of alternative medicine to ensure that it is safe and usable for your body.
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Here at Altmed, we advocate safe alternative medicine. This is why we DO NOT agree with the usage of synthetic cannabinoids in any way. Check out our website here to learn more about what real, safe alternative medicine is.
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