Tag Archive: Synthetic cannabis

An interesting viewpoint from Mother Jones’ Gavin Aronsen.

Citing the recent “first of its kind” synthetic marijuana study that we told you about on this blog a few days ago, Aronsen makes the argument that these drugs wouldn’t exist if marijuana wasn’t banned in the first place.

Long before the abuse of synthetic drugs, is the abuse of other illicit and legal drugs. One test detects drug use in minutes.

But the truth is, people with a desire to reach a high have long sought out alternative methods to what has been available.

Synthetic marijuana users aren’t pushed to the fake stuff because an absence or illegality of weed.

Marijuana is everywhere.

Synthetic drugs like k2 spice, bath salts etc. exist because people want to go to that next level.

People would smoke low level marijuana if they just liked to get high, but marijuana connoisseurs grow, sell, and buy premium grade marijuana at dispensaries where medicinal marijuana can be legally sold.

I know someone who abuses spice, k2, and other synthetic marijuana products.

She has been a long time marijuana smoker. She has no problem gaining access to a small amount of marijuana.

But she chooses to use synthetics because they make her feel good.

She pays more for the synthetic high, and she doesn’t even take the legality of either substance in consideration when she wants to use.

In the end, it really isn’t important why people use synthetic drugs. The key is that synthetics can kill, and need to be removed from store shelves.


We are learning just how many youths and young adults are having serious health complications from synthetic marijuana.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network has released its’ first study on synthetic marijuana.

K2, Spice and other synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of marijuana high sent 11,406 people — mostly teens and young adults — to the ER in 2010.

The report, found that children ages 12 to 17 accounted for one-third of the emergency room visits. Young adults ages 18 to 24 accounted for another 35%.

“This report confirms that synthetic drugs cause substantial damage to public health and safety,” Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske said.

Spice and K2, marketed as legal, fake pot and labeled as herbal incense, emerged in 2009 as popular drugs among teenagers and college students, who could purchase the substances online, in head shops, and in convenience stores.

Problems quickly emerged. Doctors reported teenagers arriving in the emergency room with high fevers and strange behavior.

The packaging clearly states “not for human consumption” but that almost serves as a beacon for teens that “hey this is the stuff you want to mess around with.”

The DEA instituted an emergency ban on the key chemical components. In July, Congress banned sales of K2, Spice and other synthetic drugs under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.

However, amateur chemists continue to make these compounds and hand them out to people, treating them almost as guinea pigs.

It’s important for parents to understand what these compounds are, and for them to have a meaningful dialogue with their kids about the dangers.

New York’s Governor Cuomo wants to put twice the pressure on people who sell and use synthetic drugs.

New York is taking aim at everyone involved with synthetic drugs from seller to user.

The state is also establishing a hotline where people can anonymously report stores and businesses that are selling these products.

“It gives law enforcement a nimble, flexible tool they can take immediate action on,” a Cuomo told the Daily News.

But this New York law allows the state to go after small time peddlers, while the federal laws targets big-time producers and traffickers of bath salts, spice, and any other mind altering product.

Read the Daily News’ story on the new legislation by clicking HERE.

The DEA spread out across 100 cities Wednesday and Thursday to find and seize synthetic drugs.

Reports surfaced from Pittsburgh, New York, and California that the raids were carried out.

The government is on the offensive against the toxic chemicals since President Obama signed a ban on the substances a few weeks ago.

Synthetic drugs are known to have PCP like effects, ranging from hallucinations to uncontrollable shaking.


President Obama signed a ban earlier this week on synthetic drugs.

Now Wired Science has done some research that shows, how the manufacturers of the products are already getting around the ban.

You can read about that by Clicking HERE.

There appears to be no real solution as to stop the manufacturing and sale of these products.


The federal government took another step towards eliminating synthetic drugs as President Obama signed a federal law Monday banning the sale of bath salts, synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs across the nation.

The new drug legislation aims at finally halting the sales of the deadly chemical compounds marketed and sold as bath salts and incense.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) hopes the move results in the complete elimination of the products.

“President Obama’s swift approval of this federal ban is the final nail in the coffin for the legal sale of bath salts in smoke shops and convenient stores in New York State and throughout the rest of the country,” Schumer said. “This law will close loopholes that have allowed manufacturers to circumvent local and state bans and ensure that you cannot simply cross state lines to find these deadly bath salts, and I’m pleased that after a great deal of effort, it has become law.”

But will the new man deter chemists from attempting to find alternate combinations?

Schumer’s legislation will specifically ban MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and mephedrone.

The chemical mimic the effects caused by cocaine and methamphetamine, including hallucinations, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts.

The law will make bath salts illegal in the U.S. by adding the active ingredients, MDPV and mephedrone, to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which classifies drugs that are illegal and cannot be prescribed under any circumstances.

Along with MDPV and mephedrone, there are 29 other substances that Schumer’s bill bans, including 20 substances in synthetic marijuana and 9 synthetic hallucinogens.

Teensavers applauds Senator Schumer for pushing this bill to the President’s desk.

Only time will tell to see if the law is effective in ridding stores of these harmful products.




Teensavers came across a story out of Maryland and a young man’s sickness after using a substance called K4.

The woman received a call from her 20-year-old son saying he needed to go to the doctor. He was also saying that he wanted to kill himself and he had taken a razor to his wrists and arms several times.

Instead of driving her son to the hospital, she called for an ambulance and police. Officers found empty packets of something called k4.

You can read the rest of the story on this synthetic marijuana sickness HERE.

Parents need to learn that these synthetic substances can kill. They alter your mind with chemical compounds.

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.


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.

If you are a parent of pre-teen or teen and you haven’t heard of spice, bath salts, ivory wave, or K2, you better start doing your homework. Here’s a quick cliff’s notes version of what they are, and why they are still here.


Those products go by many names, but they all have one thing in common; they are synthetic marijuana.

Synthetic marijuana is designed to be a substitute for the real thing, but carry the same psychoaltering effects. The real problem is that they are far more dangerous than the real thing, and some kids have no fear using the products.

These synthetic cannabanoids are sold as incense, potpourri, or bath salts. They are clearly marked, “not for human consumption.” But don’t be fooled. That warning is really an advertisement for teens. The message really states, “if you smoke this, you’re going to get really high.”

Despite numerous attempts to criminalize and ban the products, the creators have been very, well, creative in getting around those bans. State and federal lawmakers have tried banning the chemical combinations, but the manufacturers continue to tweak the formula to escape the ban.

The mind-altering effects come from the chemical compound, which is sprayed onto the products. Essentially it doesn’t matter what the originating product is, once it is coated in the chemical solution, it acts as a powerful drugs. You could go pull some dandelions from your backyard, and if they are dipped in the right solution, smoking them would mimic the effects of pot.

So why are these products to dangerous? Well they are a toxic mixture of chemicals, and they can create numerous symptoms in teens. They can be hard to diagnose. One of the leading theories, though never fully confirmed, was that Demi Moore was smoking this type of product when she had her 9-1-1 episode.

Convulsions, sweating, and hallucinations are just some of the side-effects. A recent story in the USA Today quoted Joanna Cohen, an emergency medicine physician at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington. DC. It cited her writings in Pediatrics, that ER doctors have been having a very hard time detecting the use in kids.

Where there is concern is that parents are the first to argue that they could “tell if THEIR child is on drugs.” This is a fallacy that too many parents believe. They often do not notice any kind of drug use until the user is addicted.

But parents can educate themselves about the warning signs. They can also visit their pediatrician and discuss the possibility that their teen has been using these synthetics. As Cohen reminds in the USA Today article, the long term effects include memory loss and psychosis.

New Jersey’s Attorney General has had enough.

Jeffrey Chiesa says that the states ban on synthetic marijuana is so serious, that they will prosecute anyone possessing or using the substance as if they were using the real deal.

“Today we are ending this dangerous game played by drug dealers,” Chiesa said at a news conference.

He told the public that there are no gray areas, selling or distributing these substances is crystal clear, “We are making unambiguously clear that, if a synthetic chemical is being sold because it mimics the effects of marijuana, the dealer is committing a crime.”

New Jersey is the fourth state to criminalize any variation of the products, known by many names, such as k2, spice, ivory wave, and bath salts.

The chemicals have hundreds of  400 variations and are considered a controlled and dangerous substance on par with cocaine or heroin.  Manufacturing, selling, or possessing the drugs is now a third-degree crime.  The maximum sentence is five years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

If you are unfamiliar with the products, teen are ingesting them as a way to get around using marijuana, which can be detected in drug tests.   The products are some kind of herb and sprayed or soaked in a chemical solution that mimics the effects of marijuana.

Numerous kids have died using these products, and thousands more have been sickened by them.  They report hallucinations, chest pains, and heart issues.

Parents need to talk to their children about the dangers of these products, as sellers continue to stock their store shelves with them in nearly every state.    And while police have stepped up their enforcement, it’s virtually impossible to confiscate all pieces of these products.