Does Spice contain THC?

No. Spice does not contain THC. Spice contains synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetics are structurally different than THC although they trigger similar reactions in the body. More on what’s in Spice here.

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No. Spice does not have THC in it.

Instead, Spice is made of a combination of synthetic cannabinoids. Dangers of synthetic weed include induced psychotic episodes and hallucinations.  But how are synthetics both similar to and different than active ingredients in cannabis? More here on the structural and functional qualities of Spice and marijuana.

What’s in Spice?

Spice products contain dried plant material which has been sprayed with synthetic cannabinoid compounds, such as JWH-018 and HU-210. There are currently 140+ known synthetic cannabinoids. Spice mixtures contain one or dozens of these cannabinoids.

How are Spice ingredients and THC similar?

The chemically engineered compounds that are most often present in Spice blends include JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol. These compounds share pharmacological similarities with THC. How?

The synthetic cannabinoid ingredients found in Spice bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the body as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. So Spice and marijuana are similar in the way that they effect the body. Common effects of both Spice and marijuana include:

  • changes in perception
  • mild euphoria
  • physical relaxation

How are Spice ingredients and THC different?

As mentioned above, the cannabinoids found in Spice bind to the same receptors in the body as THC. How long does THC stay in urine?  For days to weeks after ingestion. However, some types of cannabinoids like those that are in Spice bind more strongly to the receptors, increasing half life AND potency. Medical analysts believe this action of stronger binding leads to higher potency that produces a much more powerful and unpredictable effect.

In fact, adverse health effects may be associated with higher doses of synthetic cannabinoids. Doses are difficult to predict because when you use Spice, you don’t really know what’s inside a pack of Spice because the content ingredients are not listed on the package. Furthermore, Spice products vary in the composition and concentration of synthetic cannabinoids. Which makes each package unique and potentially dangerous.

Plus, some effects of getting high on Spice are non-typical of THC intoxication. These more serious and severe side effects of using Spice include:

  • abnormally rapid heart beat
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • elevated blood pressure
  • intense hallucinations
  • jittery-ness
  • non-responsiveness
  • psychotic episodes
  • seizures
  • tremor
  • vomiting

It is important to note here that long-term effects of Spice have not been studied. Spice ingredients have been around for less than 30 years, so researchers do not know how Spice effects the body and mind in the long-term. However, withdrawal, depression, and dependency issues are associated with use of synthetic cannabinoids found in Spice.

Do you have a Spice problem?

Spice can be addictive. If you think that you have a problem with Spice, you probably do. Tolerance to Spice can build over time, requiring that you use more to achieve a similar effect. Likewise, you can go through withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Spice. Finally, you’ll know you are addicted when you cannot stop using Spice, despite negative consequences in your life.

We can help you find local resources, counseling, or addiction treatment centers. If you want help, please let us know. Ask any question about Spice and we will try to answer you personally and promptly. You are never alone when you want to get better!

Reference sources: Beyond THC: The New Generation of Cannabinoid Designer Drugs
NIDA Info Facts on Spice


About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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