Despite the massive attempts to clamp down on the manufacturing and sales of synthetic marijuana, the product continue to thrive, and many Americans, including an explosion of teens are using it regularly.
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Now the European Union says that these product are being created weekly, with 4 new variations hitting the streets per month.
The Lisbon-based European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) said 49 new “psychoactive” substances were officially notified for the first time in 2011 through an EU early-warning system.
This is an increase from 2010, where 41 substances hit the market, and 2009 where 24 new variations surfaced.
“This represents the largest number of substances ever reported in a single year, up from 41 substances reported in 2010 and 24 reported in 2009,” said the agency.
The largest group – 23 – were synthetic laboratory-designed substances that imitate the effects of cannabis, such as products marketed as “Spice”, and a further eight that imitate the effects of amphetamine and ecstasy, such as mephedrone.
What we are also seeing are new designer medicines which are created to mimic the effects of popular medications by slightly altering their chemical compounds.
The report also says that more than 700 websites are selling these products.
These products are sold at traditional American brick and mortar locations like gas stations, convenience stores, and tobacco shops. The products are described as being in many forms, including plant food, incense, and other common household products like bath salts.
There is a warning on the labels “not meant for human consumption” but that warning can often be the indicator to kids that this is the junk that will get them high.
Parents need to be vigilant for this. Current home drug testing approved by the FDA for over the counter use does not detect these products. Any other tests that have been approved by the FDA for sale, are forensic only products. Beware of anyone trying to sell you a synthetic marijuana test at this point, as testing has concluded that these are highly unreliable.