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Spice Use

Using Fake Weed

“Spice” is a general term; it describes a wide variety of herbal mixtures sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids. he reason why Spice is known as “fake weed” is due to the fact that it contains similar chemicals as the ones found in marijuana. As a psychoactive drug, Spice produces effects similar to marijuana.

Still, the main difference between Spice and marijuana are the effects. Moreover, Spice produces much stronger effects: Spice can tens to hundreds of times stronger than THC. So, is the use of Spice safe? What are the risks and consequences?

Learn more in the text below. If you still have questions about using Spice, we invite you to leave us a comment at the end. In fact, we try to respond to all real-life situations with a personal response.
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Struggling to quit Spice?
You can find help.
Call 1-877-790-1305.
Hotline staff are standing by 24/7.

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Why Is Spice Use So Popular?

Spice or synthetic marijuana is sold under many names, including the most popular Spice and K2. Fake weed also goes by other brand names such as, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, Bliss, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Blaze, Genie, Zohai, JWH -018, -073, -250, and others.  These herbal mixtures (sold as incense) are marketed as safe, legal alternatives to cannabis. However, each herbal mixtures contain dried, shredded plant material and unknown chemical additives that are responsible for their psychoactive effects.

Spice is most widely used by high school youth. Research has shown that nearly twice as many male high school seniors use synthetic marijuana, than females from the same age group. Here are some of the reasons why Spice abuse is so popular:

  1. Spice mixtures is inexpensive.
  2. It’s easy to get Spice as “incense”.
  3. Spice is marketed as a natural, safe, non-toxic product, and is falsely considered to be harmless.
  4. The chemical compounds used in Spice are not easily detected by standard drug tests.
  5. Spice packets are often colorful and artistic, designed to appeal to the youth’s style and flair.
  6. In states where Spice is legal, you don’t have to show any form of identification to buy it.

Spice Use Effects

Using Spice can be dangerous.

Packets are manufactured from illegal, synthetic compounds that produce strong effects. Often, you don’t know which exact synthetic cannibinoids have been sprayed on the herbs. In fact, Spice is quite stronger than marijuana. People who use Spice have reported the following side effects:

  • changes in perception
  • memory impairment
  • rapid heartbeat
  • suicidal thoughts
  • tachycardia
  • tingling
  • tremors
  • vomiting

The side effects from smoking Spice can also be fatal. This can happen even after smoking only once, or after many experiences with the drug. Spice, K2 and related legal highs have been implicated in several cases of kidney failure and heart attacks.

Spice Recreational Use

Users claim that synthetic cannabinoids mimic tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Reports indicate the effects of Spice use are similar to the effects from marijuana, such as elevated mood, relaxation and altered perception. Other less pleasant side effects from Spice include psychotic symptoms, paranoia, increase anxiety and hallucinations. The negative side effects are reported to be more severe for Spice smokers than for those who smoke marijuana.

Like marijuana, Spice is used many ways. It can be:

  1. smoked in a pipe
  2. smoked in a joint
  3. mixed with marijuana and smoked
  4. prepared as a herbal tea for drinking

Long Term Spice Use

You can develop physical dependence on Spice if you smoke daily. When you become Spice dependent, the body adjusts to the chemical presence of the cannbinoids. Over time, the signals sent by the brain become the new “normal”, impairing a person’s ability to function normally without Spice in their system.

Psychological dependence on Spice can be very strong, and is said to be the reason why people continue to use it. The following signs can be the first indicators of Spice dependence:

  1. Emotional attachment to Spice
  2. Intense cravings
  3. Social problems resulting from Spice use
  4. The compulsive need to use the drug

Dependence after long-term Spice use can also be followed by an increased tolerance for the drug. Tolerance means that you need more of the drug more often to achieve initial effect.

Prolonged Use Of Spice

But what are some of the even more dangerous long-term effects of Spice? Testimonials from regular Spice users speak of the following adverse effects:

  • anxiety
  • hallucinations
  • heart attack
  • heart damage
  • homicidal intentions
  • intense paranoia
  • long-term mental health problems
  • myocardial ischemia (reduced blood flow to the heart)
  • suicidal thoughts

Quitting Spice Use

Scientific studies on humans and animals have demonstrated no significant physical dependence on Spice, which means the withdrawal symptoms from this drug tend to be minimal. Still, withdrawal occurs when you’ve developed the habit of using Spice daily.

Spice withdrawal symptoms vary for different individuals and can last from 2 days up to 2 weeks. The duration and severity of the withdrawal depends on the use patterns, the amount smoked, the brand of synthetic marijuana used, and whether it was mixed with cannabis, tobacco or other substances.

Usually, withdrawal symptoms from Spice include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • excessive sweating

Spice Use Questions

Have we succeeded to give you a better understanding of Spice use and the consequences that follow? Maybe you are looking to learn more about quitting the drug and Spice detox or Spice addiction treatment.

If you have any other questions and/or comments, feel free to post them in the section below. We try to provide a personal and prompt response to all legitimate inquiries.

Reference Sources: NIH: DrugFacts: Spice (“Synthetic Marijuana”)
NIDA for TEENS: DrugFacts: Spice
The WHITE HOUSE: Synthetic Drugs (a.k.a. K2, Spice, Bath Salts, etc.)

Spice Use

6 Spice long term effects

Spice long term effects

June 5th, 2017

Spice is a relatively new drug and there is still only a little that we know about the effects of long term use. Even with such limited scientific knowledge, we can say that Spice is a substance with gruesome consequences. More, here.

When does Spice peak?

When does Spice peak?

April 12th, 2017

When you use Spice you can expect effects to peak anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes after consumption. More on the onset, peak, duration, and side effects of Spice here.

19 How much Spice is too much?

How much Spice is too much?

February 16th, 2015

A description of how Spice is packaged, and difficulties in estimating overdose amounts. Plus, more on the signs of Spice overdose and their treatment here.

1 When does Spice kick in?

When does Spice kick in?

October 14th, 2014

It takes from around 5-40 minutes for Spice to kick in depending on mode of administration. More here on Spice and its duration of effects.

2 Is Spice a narcotic?

Is Spice a narcotic?

September 27th, 2014

Yes. Some chemicals found in Spice are are now classified as Schedule I narcotics, the most restrictive category under the Controlled Substances Act. More on Spice as a narcotic here.

31 How long does K2 last?

How long does K2 last?

June 6th, 2014

K2 effects can last few hours, but can persist for days or weeks after use. More on the factors that affect the duration of K2 and synthetic cannabinoids here.

4 What is Spice used for?

What is Spice used for?

April 30th, 2014

Spice is a combination of synthetic, lab-produced cannabinoids that imitate THC that are used for euphoric effect. More on Spice uses and side effects here.

24 How long does Spice last?

How long does Spice last?

April 23rd, 2014

How long Spice lasts in your body depends on which synthetic cannabinoids are found in the Spice mixture. Its effects may last for hours to days, even weeks. More on Spice duration of action here.

92 How does Spice work?

How does Spice work?

May 16th, 2012

Spice works by affecting the brain, mimicking the effects of THC. More on Spice’s uses, side effects, and dangers here.

334 Can you die from taking Spice?

Can you die from taking Spice?

March 7th, 2012

Maybe. It is possible to die from taking Spice. But Spice is a relatively new drug which is poorly understood. More on the adverse effects and systems affected by Spice here.

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