It’s time to understand just how synthetic marijuana can kill. Earlier this month, fake marijuana killed 3 people and left 100 ill in the state of Illinois alone. Authorities say that these patients have tested positive for a lethal ingredient that is often used in rat poison. Synthetic cannabinioids are human made compounds that target the same receptors in the brain that natural cannabis does. Cannabis legalization is gaining momentum, so why are so many turning to the deadly knock-off version? For one, American soldiers are still restricted from marijuana, and so are many people worldwide.
What is “Fake Weed”?
Synthetic marijuana, or K2 and Spice is a synthetic that can kill. Its looks are deceiving. It often looks like tobacco or your favourite natural strain of cannabis, but is actually a mix of herbs, dried plant materials and a medley of chemicals. In addition to the packaged “herb”, fake weed is now available and popular in vape form. The drug is available for purchase from online retailers as well as in store, including some convenience stores. The packaging claims that the product is “all natural”, but the science proves that this is a complete lie. Case and point, synthetic weed is more dangerous than the real thing. In fact, the DEA has said that weed has never killed anyone, ever.
Synthetic Marijuana vs. Natural Marijuana
The fake stuff reacts with our brain much like the way that THC (the natural active ingredient in cannabis) does. The synthetic drug gets sprayed with a number of chemicals and basically gets dressed up in a “weed costume”. Many experts say that the drug should not be marketed as “synthetic marijuana” because it is so far from the real thing. John W. Huffman created the drug in the 1990’s. His intention to learn more about the brain receptors that regulate pain, appetite and mood. Unfortunately, his recipe made its way into the wrong hands. The drug started popping up around North America and Europe in 2008.
There is a number of dangerous side effects, both long and short term. Also, the drug can become extremely addictive and comes with a set of awful withdrawal symptoms. Adverse effects include psychotic symptoms like hallucinations, altered perception and paranoia. Kidney failure, heart attacks, reduced blood flow to the heart and severe anxiety are some other effects. The drug is relatively new to the market. Furthermore, the long terms effects are still unknown. However, doctors are sure that we will come to understand them soon. The bottom line is this: synthetic marijuana can kill.