How long does K2 stay in your system?
We really do not know a lot about how K2 works and stays in the body.
But we do know that the length of time that K2 stays in your system depends on which synthetic cannabinoids are in the mixture. For example, JWH-018 and JWH-073 can be detected up to 72 hours after ingestion. But keep in mind that K2 weed dangers are significant. Here, we review common synthetic cannabinoids which are used in K2, and their properties. We invite your questions, comments and feedback at the end.
What’s in K2?
K2 is a brand of mixture of herbs and spices that is sprayed with chemical(s) called synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids are chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana. The 5 primary chemicals used in K2 are:
However, it’s not easy to determine exactly what is in K2. There are currently over 140 synthetic cannabinoids on the market. Keep in mind that K2 is an unregulated mixture of any of these different compounds.
What does K2 do to the body?
Does K2 get you high? Yes. Short term effects of K2 include psychological effects similar to those of marijuana. However, smoking synthetic cannabinoids for their psychoactive effects can lead to emergency room visits and calls to poison control centers. Psychotic episodes are common on K2. These unwanted side effects are most likely to to variation in the composition and concentration of synthetic cannabinoids spiked on the plant material found in K2. Additionally, K2 appears to be stored in the body for long periods of time, and therefore the long-term effects on humans are not fully known.
Peak levels and half life of K2
Although synthetic cannabinoids found in K2 produce similar effects to THC, the structure of synthetic cannabinoids differs from that of THC. When inhaled, K2 products are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Peak levels of synthetic cannabinoids are achieved relatively quickly, within 10-45 minutes after smoking, or longer after eaten or brewed in tea.
K2’s duration of effect varies by type of cannabinoid in a K2 mixture. The half life of K2 ingredients varies by type of cannabinoids, user, dosage and frequency of use. However, both half life and duration of effect of synthetic cannabinoids tend to be longer than THC. In general, the half life of compounds found in K2 is somewhat longer than THC (3-4 days), which is what causes increased duration of effects in users.
K2 drug testing
Can K2 show up on a drug test? Currently, standard drug tests for cannabis do not detect K2 in the body. The structure of synthetic cannabinoids differs from that of THC, so that they probably will not trigger a positive test for cannabinoids in immunoassays of body fluids. However, new urine tests for JWH-018 and JWH-073 (some of the primary ingredients in K2) have a testing window of up to 72 hours for both of these compounds. And detectable levels of K2 in the body also vary by use, but can be from 24-72 hours after use.
Although new drug tests have been developed to identify particular synthetic cannabinoid compounds in the urine, these tests are relatively expensive and are not used regularly by legal or private systems. The most common synthetic cannabinoids are also more invasive to detect – they require a blood sample that targets bi-product of the drugs after they are metabolized in the body.
How long does K2 stay in the body?
At present, we do not know exactly how long K2 ingredients stay in the body. Much more research is needed regarding the metabolism and toxicology of synthetic cannabinoids. However, the effects of K2have been reported to last for days to weeks.
K2 and addiction
Case reports describe psychotic episodes, withdrawal, and dependence associated with use of synthetic cannabinoids found in K2. So, most regulators, researchers and addiction experts think that K2 has an addiction similar to syndromes observed in marijuana abuse. K2 addiction is treatable. If you think that you have problems with K2, please ask for help.
Problems with K2?
K2 smokers are exposed to synthetic cannabinoids that are extremely variable in composition and potency, and are at risk of serious, if not lethal, outcomes. Not knowing what’s in K2 makes potential overdose more likely and increases chances of both short and long term adverse effects. If you have questions about K2 or want to discuss its effects, please let us know. We will be happy to respond to your questions personally and promptly and help you as best as we can.
Reference sources: DEA Drug Fact Sheet on K2
Drug Free NJ [dot] org information on K2
Utah State legislature information on K2
Photo credit: smokershighlife