Is K2 addictive?

YES. K2 is addictive. We review what K2 is made of, and how you get addicted to K2 here.

minute read

YES. K2 (like marijuana) is addictive.

What exactly makes getting addicted to K2/Spice possible? How can you tell if you’re addicted to K2? We’ll review these questions here. And we invite your questions about the addictive potential of K2 at the end.

What is K2 used for?

K2, also known as “Spice”, has no known or approved medical use in the U.S. K2 has been marketed as a “legal” alternative to marijuana. But this is no longer the case since the main ingredients in K2 have been banned in many countries in the world, the U.S. military and across the U.S. The only use for K2 is drug abusers seeking a euphoric “high” like that they would get from marijuana. Using Spice to get high off, however, can cause serious side effects including hallucinations, cardiovascular problems and intense discomfort.

What is K2 made of?

K2 may be labeled as “incense” to try to sneak under the radar of law enforcement. In fact, no one’s actually sure exactly what’s in K2, because it can vary widely from batch to batch. But in general, K2 contains about 3 grams of vegetable matter such as dried leaves, resin, or powder sold in metal-foil sachets to which one or more synthetic cannabinoids are added. Some of the more common synthetic cannabinoids ingredient contained in K2 include:

  • AM – 694
  • CP – 47,497
  • CP – 47,497-C8
  • HU-210
  • JWH – 015
  • JWH – 018
  • JWH – 019
  • JWH – 073
  • JWH – 122
  • JWH – 200
  • JWH – 250
  • JWH – 398

K2 is typically is smoked, but can also be made into a tea. Different batches may contain completely different substances, so it’s hard to say just how safe K2 is to take. In fact, the side effects and dangers are unpredictable and have caused intense hallucinations and cardiovascular effects in reported cases across U.S. emergency rooms.  And Spice drug tests 2012 are able to detect many of the chemicals listed above.

How addictive is K2?

It’s hard to say how addictive K2 really is. There’s simply very little research into the drug and the chemicals used in it. But K2 does affects the central nervous system. And there’s some evidence that repeated use can cause users to develop a tolerance to K2.

In addition to creating feelings of euphoria, K2 can provoke withdrawal and a dependence syndromes after chronic consumption. Persistance of drug craving even after K2 is out of the system is also possible, the characteristic symptom of any kind of drug addiction.

Although many may see K2 as a “safer” alternative to marijuana, K2’s observed effects in hospitals and drug treatment programs around the country can be much more powerful and dangerous than marijuana.

  • agitation
  • hallucinations
  • rapid heart rate
  • vomiting

How do you get addicted to K2?

You may be addicted to K2 if you need K2 to deal with stress or cope with the world around you. Using K2 frequently or in large amounts can cause addiction. But keep in mind that no one knows exactly how addictive the various substances used in K2 actually are because they have only been created in laboratories in the past couple of decades. In fact, the long-term health effects of synthetic cannabinoids are unknown, since the drug is so new.

Signs of K2 addiction

K2 addiction means that you have a dependence on K2, coupled with a psychological craving for the drug. Other signs of K2 addiction include:

  1. Continued K2 abuse despite negative consequences.
  2. Craving K2 and using it compulsively.
  3. Seeking K2 in order to stimulate the “reward center” of the brain.

K2 addiction potential questions

Do you still have questions about K2 addiction potential? Please leave them here. We are happy to help answer your questions personally and promptly. If we do not know the answer to your particular question, we will refer you to someone who does.

Reference Sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse: InfoFacts:Spice
Drug Enforcement Agency: Drug Fact Sheet: K2 or Spice
NIDA for Teens: “Spice” – Not as fun as it sounds
PubMed: Beyond THC: The New Generation of Cannabinoid Designer Drugs
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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  1. I just got into a relation with a girl that I discovered she is badly addicted to K2, I don’t want to give her up and I’m interested in getting her off that sh$&, what can I do to help her without doctors intervention or rehab centers? She is poor but I can afford taking care of her from A to Z.

    1. Hi Clean. First, get informed with all thinks about K2 (Spice) addiction, effects, withdrawal signs, and treatment:
      Then, speak with your girlfriend to find support group or a therapist who can give her all support she needs. Finally, learn how to help her without enabling her.

  2. My Daughter is pregnant she has been smoking K2 off and on before and during her pregnancy. I have tried to get her help she refuses. I told her Dr. they have tested her for it. My question is how does K2 affect the baby and will it be in his umbilical cord when he is born.

  3. I find some of the questions on this blog to be absolutely stupid. Why do you smoke K2. It started by being an alternative legal form of getting high instead of marijuana that gets you one year in jail and a couple thousand dollars in fines. So the elite make a drug mess up the minds of kids more so K2 came out now they say No which they should for it is 100 times worse than marijuana,Wellit started it was a legal form of getting high. then why do people do drug such as heroin, why do people get addicted to pain killers, why do people snort airplane glue, why? Why? Why? that is the million dollar question. Most are social issues being cool doing what the others are doing to be in the crowd. peer pressure. All drugs are about let’s have a party and get high some understand some don’t. If you never been high you will never understand if you never been addicted you will not understand addiction. So if I get advice I am getting advice from a recovering addict, not some numb skull psychotherapist that thinks your mommy did not breast feed you long enough. Whatever their reasons most doctors don’t have a clue. Then the government they act like they want to help the help would be lowing the cost to being something like a treatment that people could actually afford. If not stick everyone in prison and put it through cold turkey and keep every addict in the prison for 6 moths. that changes you but for no one to do anything but replace one drug with another drug just as worse. Such as heroin, hydrocodone with Suboxone, Methadone, that is just stupid and very expensive. It takes much more than anyone is doing so why is here the reason. We are hopeless society don’t give a damn about anything but being a hypocrite. This world sucks and most of the people in it suck.
    I am a recovering addict i know all the hypocrites I have been to rehab I seen psychiatrist i have seen the manipulation of going from one addiction to another. it is money game nothing more than legal drug dealers. Until someone gets serious this problem with heroin is going to explode because now they say no more pain killer no hydro codeine people are going to find the drugs and if that be a cheap heroin a chasing the dragon instead of taking a pill that is what it will be so what you will see is much more death occur from taking pain killers off the market and letting the drug dealers make the real big money which by the way or the cops, politicians, that is how it all gets here into the US. Don’t get fooled and don’t listen to the government for it is all lies they are just trying to ruin another generation so the control can remain in the hands of a few.

  4. My 43 year old son is smoking this stuff. It changes who he is. Uncontrollably angry. Destructive. Saying way too often suicidal ideation feeling hopeless helpless. He gets so angry he scares me. I am disabled and 68 years old. What can I do? He will end up in jail or me PLEASE! !!

  5. A frend called earlier, to ask what could be helpful, to help ease the symptoms, of k2 withdrawal? Her son is an adult, who is staying with her, along with his girlfriend. I doubt he would agree to inpatient. Besides which, he is planning, to go out of state, in a few days – to stay with the girlfriend’s folks.
    Yet, my concern, prompted the Google search, which led me to this website. What I’ve read here only intensifies my concerns.
    Any suggests?

  6. Whoever says they do not know if K2 is addictive is totally crazy the drug is extremely addictive and as awful withdraw conditions. Mentally it screws with your mind more like Crack cocaine than marijuana so they should compare it to crack more than smoking pot. This is a very dangerous drug for this article to say otherwise shows you how political the drug is in the media and the news. It turns kids and adults into zombies.

    1. Hi, Nashpita. Kids, and people in general, use K2 for various reasons such as relieving the stress, anxiety, fear, pain or anger related to personal, psychological or family issues. Also, they might use K2 only to fit in a certain group, be popular and trendy, or due to curiosity. There are numerous reasons for consuming K2. Maybe, you should talk with some of the kids who are using it, and ask them. Also, we did an article on why people use marijuana, so here it is: It may come handy for you. Good luck with the presentation!

  7. My son who is 35 has started using K2 on and off and now he is addicted and it has greatly impacted life.
    It has impacted his family / kids – they are separated, he has destroyed all relationships with his family and brothers, abused all his friendships, trouble with laws and driving under the influence, on probation, no driver’s license, can’t maintain a job, borrowing money, destroyed / abused his chances to stay with us and other family members, denies he has a problem or addicted and want seek help, has no place to live, etc……….

    Tough Love What can we do? should do?

    1. To Advice – Help: Even if he refuses to get adequate treatment help, there are interventions you can plan, at the end of which he will be taken to a rehab facility. I suggest you call our trusted treatment providers through the free helpline number displayed on our page to get informed about what treatment programs are available and suitable for your son’s needs. Also, I’d suggest family therapy for you all once he is out of rehab and actively recovering from addiction.

  8. My boyfriend is addicted to k2. I really want him to quit. I feel like he is not the same person . he is on probation and has to do UA’s frequently. Is there a way for me to request that they test him for k2?without getting him in trouble.

  9. I used 20gm of K2 4 packs in 1 1/2 months. I haven’t smoked for like 18 hours now and the only withdrawal symptoms I’m feeling is lack of sleep and not eating much. can anyone tell me if it will get worse for me or not?

  10. Hi..well how do i say boyfriend is a k2 addict..and now he was to get off for good..when he works of course he cant smoke it..he is having all kind of symptons..including fast heart beat..numbness in his head..etc..he wants off what can we do as a family to get him off that drug..lmk

  11. What the best way to stop k2 I.know I’m an a addict an I don’t like where I know im a end up dead If I don’t get help the detox hurts I got hot an cold an restless can’t sleep unless I hit k2 now I fucked up I can’t get hi on a blunt or joint I got to hit a gravity bong to.feel the affects an it change in me. I need to losemy monster bbe for spice kills me.I’m 5 days cleen an I’m about to relaps I don’t want to I need this shit gone what to do

  12. I picked my boyfriend up from prison yesterday. He just served a 90day sentence for parole violation. He smoked this “k2” stuff everyday in prison. He’s been home for over 24hours now his withdraws starred immiediatly after I picked him up but they weren’t so bad at first. But now over the past 3 hours he has had tremors his body is constantly shaking his legs r stiff and his feet too. He is vommiting …well dry hieving because he is not able to eat at all. He has major diarea and for the first time now 2 years he is crying… I don’t know what to do to help him I’ve tried to talk him nto letting me take him to the e. R. And he refuses but he really is having a very hard time even walking to make it to the bathroom when he needs to. I myself am a recovering Meth addict. I was a heavy user for 16 years straight. I’ve been to many treatment centers as well as dealt with my own withdraw nightmAres from Meth and I’m telling you I have never seen anyone go through something this horrible and I’m at a loss for what to do to help him. He has had no intentions of using any drugs after he got out of prison. He started this k2 shit Nthere trying to make his time go by faster. He said once he tried to stop these withdraws started so he continued to use utility the day he left. So if anyone can tell me anything that I can do to help him get through this I’d be so very fearful. Thank you

  13. I am dealing with a disabled relative who seems to be addicted to K2 or thinks he must have it daily. It is complicated by medical problems, i.e., stroke (paralyzed on left side), diabetes, high blood pressure.

  14. Jesus will take that addiction away. He did it for me and will do it for you, he loves you and doesn’t want u to suffer he wants u to give ur life to him and allow him to help u. God bless you all he helped me quit ciggerates as well

  15. Hi Bessie. Have you considered writing down your concerns and speaking with him about it (when he’s not high)? You can get some guidance on this process, called an intervention, from a trained addiction counselor. I wish you all the best!

  16. I’m really worried about a really close person of mine. He has been using K2 now for at least 6 years and I see how it effects him. He will dose off to sleep and then as the times have gone by I’ve notice him vomiting while sleeping and I’m afraid that he would die choking and not only that he slobbers on himself and not only that even after all that it has come to his lower extremeties swelling up. Please give me some advice on what I can do to help.

  17. my son was addicted to K2- he called me a year ago and hadn’t eaten in 3 days. he told the ER doctor he had been off of K2 for 3 days and couldnt eat. His pancreas levels were high and it took 2 weeks to manage to swallow food. I thought he was ok then admitted that he still cant eat without smoking marijuanna to stimulate his hunger. I have sent him to the General practicioner and a GI doctor- no solutions but to smoke marijuanna to eat (what? it’s illegal) he expressed to both doctors he wants to test clean to get a job. they are not knowledgeable at all. I know he wants to make it work, Any suggestions about this horrible after effect?

  18. I need help! My boyfriend has been smoking k2 for about 10 mounths not and it’s only getting worse. I keep help him to slow down and to eventually stop but he won’t have it! He gets so nasty and I can’t ever do anything right I feel like I want to help but he won’t take it and I have ran out of options. He went from two blunts a day to 4 grams a day now to 8 grams a day I don’t know what to do it’s such a horrible thing to be addictive to and I hate seeing him like this dose anyone have any help get him through this and to help me with helping him please

  19. To see the video.go to youtube and type in the search box break every chain tasha cobbs first baptist church in glenarden . Its about forty minutes long but i hope it helps u i will pray for everyone struggling with the desires of the flesh and remember pray to god and ask him to make u a new man, woman and he will give u a new spirit which means being reborn.remember u have to be sincere and tell god u need his help . He will help U r gonna be so much happier and read the bible for strength the kings james version. Thanks for reading guys

  20. Hello let me start of by saying i have been clean from this evil stuff for ten days. I used k2 for almost three years everyday. Allday. I couldnt eat without it sleep without I lost numerous jobs because of this addiction. I wouldnt want to clean my house unless i got high. I would even check the floor for the “shake” wen i would nt have supply or check my boyfriends car in the feet part for residue. I didnt notice how bad it was until one day i was crawling on the floor by my bed looking for clips of old blunts and it hit me. I was like wtf am i doing i dont want to be like this anymore. Something happened that day and i got up looked up and said god please jesus help me i dont want to be like this amymore. I believe i was reborn that day. I had smoked 9 grams that day and believed i was gonna die i ended up going to the hospital i knew god stirred something in my spirit because that was the first time i said god bless u too someone. I said it to a sick lady in the hospital. I then suddendly had the desire to read about jesus christ and how kind and loving he is. I began reading the bible i was still smoking but this time i didnt enjoy it. I would feel so guilty and uncomfortable doing it. Then i woke up sunday morning and just cut it off. It was weni became reborn god delivered me from the addiction. I was clean for two weeks but then i smoked because i got drunk from drinking wine and the devil knew i was weak and took a bond again . For months i prayed and read the bible and saw numerous videos on youtube about god and jesus christ. It came to the point i prayed to god to take the satisfaction of the k2 away from me. That same night he showed me a dream that everytime i smoked that there was an evil demon right next to me feeding off my high. And i would feel it next to me its like an electrifying feeling like someone is watching u. He showed me how it just stands their waiting for me to die so it can grab my soul and take me to hell. It scared me just knowing that. I kept saying not today thats it but ended up doing it. Last tuesday i saw a video on youtube that woke me up and made me snap out of it. I came to found out i couldnt do it by myself it was by the grace of god that gave me the strength to quit. My boyfriend still brings the stuff around but im staying strong.

  21. Hi im a 15 year old boy and i do k2. For me while being arrested for being Drunk in public and having the school sending me to family court. ive had alot of stress on my back. what i would do to quit my craving is just to keep my hands and to eat mints so their is a weird taste in my mouth. so your brain thinks that you are using similar movements (with hands and your mouth) and wont crave as much. ive messed with many drugs and can control myself, but it has given me a choice. most people use k2 as a substuite for smoking weed if they are on probation or have a drug test coming to them.

  22. I suggest noone smokes this i have quit for 5 days n am experiencing atleat 20 longterm synthoms i dnt want nothing but to besober anybody knw how long this last

  23. Hi Marilyn,

    Yes. I’d suggest that you get in touch with the FDA and NIDA and ask them for their advice. They may be collecting or creating guidelines for withdrawal from synthetic cannabinoids…or they might be able to refer you to new or developing resources from the private sector. Best of luck!

  24. I work in a inpatient addiction and recovery facility and we are hearing more and more about addiction to K2, but as of now we do not detox them in our facility because we do medical detox and no one as yet has said what medically would be used to help them with the addiction. Any suggestions?

  25. Hi my name Jake I smoke between 3 and 9 grams a day. I have a new baby and I couldn’t give up as much as I want to. I need help.

  26. I have ben smoking k2 for about 2 years the Xmas of 2011 I got really sick and I have Ben sick sine then I went to the doctors and they can’t find anything I’m desperate to find out what’s going on with me I have sever stomic pains so bad that I start vomiting for days sometimes a week or two strait stomic cramps too and I get constapated I have went to the er room more times then I can count. Is this a side effect from k2 and if I stop using it how long will it take for the pain to go away I can’t live my life like this pleaseget back to me thank you.

    Also, How long does the withdrawal last for? Should I stop cold turkey or ween my self off of it by smoking one bag a day for three days then smoke a half a bag for the rest of that week then smoke a quarter of a a bag the next week then stop like that?

  27. Hi Mom in Florida. Suboxone (buprenorphine) attaches to opioid receptors in the brain, while K-2 is associated with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. I’d suggest that if he’s ready to detox, you seek help with a local detox clinic. They may be better prepared to offer pharmaceutical interventions than a family doctor or hospital.

  28. My 19 year old son is addicted to K-2. He’s been smoking it daily for quite awhile. I want to get him help. Does anyone know if suboxone can be used to help K-2 withdrawal symptoms?

  29. Hi scared wife. I’d suggest that you call the national drug abuse hotline at 1-800-662-HELP. They can offer you counseling, support, and local references for help.

  30. My husband thinks it is nothing.. he has been smoking it for over 2 years… he is aggressive and angry, he doesn’t sleep alot. always lies about not having it then I find all the evidence all over the house, i am afraid the kids will see it ….. he has happy moments then has bouts of vomiting. but claims it is nothing.. where do i go for help…..It is breaking our marriage up… someone help…. we are a blended family and if my ex husband ever finds out he will take my kids. where do i go for help…

  31. Let me tell you, as a recovering addict and this being my drug of choice, this drug is highly addictive. I have dabbled around in many other drugs, Marijuana, Shrooms, Acid, Coc, Mali and Ex, and many others, this was by far the most addictive and definitely was the hardest to break the grip on. I was an above average kid, not to brag, but i was doing well in school, sports, and every other aspect of my life. I was put on probation due to charges and i couldnt use marijuana anymore. Even Marijuana didnt give me the withdrawls that this did. I started smoking once a week, then twice, then 3 to 5 times a week, soon enough i was doing it every day. I was court ordered to IOP and i was still using at the time. I had been arrested because my probation officer conducted a spice/k2 test and my readings were off the chart for the levels in my ssystem. With the withdrawls, came hallucinations, extreme agitation, vomitting and naseua, and many others. With underlying mental issues of dysthymia and anxiety, it made these withdrawls a lot worse. I would experience major psychosis and episodes where i was completely enraged. If you are currently caught in the struggles of addiciton, GET HELP> this drug will only make it worse and its as addictive as heroin. and its even been scientifially proven. I don’t want anyone to experience the same struggles i did. Even if it means inpatient rehab, intensive outpatient, or any other means of substance abuse councilling, please get help. This drug will take you over and eventually kill you.

  32. Hello Alissa. K2 and K4 contain potent, possibly hallucinogenic chemicals. It is possible that you are describing a kind of hallucination that occurs when you smoke K4. If you smoke daily, you can become addicted to it.

  33. oHi, could anybody tell me why this is happening? Ok, um ive smoked spice or k2, k4 it’s basiclly the same thing, but first when i started doing it i was rolling around the ground thinking i was dreaming and it wasent reallly happening but now when i do it it makes me mind feel weird like something is happening to me and ill start getting scared and talking off the wall stuff and my heart will feel like it’s punding but it’s obviouslly really not and i want that feeling to stop cause i get so scared, but like the next day i want to do it again and ill be saying to myself ” um do i have a reason not to do it” cause i want know how to feel or remeber the way it was happening to me so i just do it cause i wont remember the way it made me feel cause i only can feel like that when im on it, any body have the same feeling or is it just me???

  34. Hi K2idiot, I’m almost two months clean from spice myself and I’ve had the same concerns you do now.

    All I can do is assure you that these symptoms do begin to taper down over time. Addiction Blog is offering you the perfect advice. The worst part of the latter part of your symptoms will be the anxiety and extreme emotions. I also had some bouts of confusion, but those too have seemed to pass.

    I went to the doctor because of my withdrawal symptoms, however, when I went I thought I was only severely depressed and overcome by anxiety. I was prescribed Xanax, I use it only when my mind is racing so fast I feel like I’m going crazy. Which hasn’t been in a while.

    If you’re over the age of 21 and can’t afford the doctor, I’d drink a few beers to calm your nerves. However, I still highly recommend seeing a doctor because my Blood Pressure was through the roof and I’m still currently taking medication to keep it level.

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel buddy. DO NOT GIVE UP!

    – Justin

  35. Hi K2idiot. Former users of Spice and K2 recommend that you exercise 1-2 hours a day, eat 6-8 small meals (clean healthy food) and drink lots water, as well as take a few herbal and vitamin supplements. Find a
    Multivitamin, flax seed oil, GABA, Glutamine (10g/day), and see a doctor who will be able to prescribe klonopin (clonazepam) for withdrawal symptoms.

    If you follow these suggestions, withdrawal effects may be less severe and your body will eliminate the toxicity from all the stuff you’ve been smokig over time. These past users advise that K2 withdrawal symptoms can still be pretty severe but will be less uncomfortable/anxious/twitchy.

  36. K2 can have fairly serious chemical addiction. I was an avid marijuana smoker, until I got in trouble for it 6 years ago. When I stopped smoking I had lack of appetite and trouble sleeping. After about a week everything mellowed out and I was fine. About a year ago I started smoking k2. In that time I went from 3g a week to 10g every 3 days. It has been 2 weeks since I touched it and my withdraw symptoms are only getting worse. I’m having sever flu like symptoms as well as restlessness and no appetite. My recommendation is steer clear of it. I’m 2 weeks clean and if these symptoms don’t stop soon, I’m afraid I won’t make it! Is there anything I can do to help ease the symptoms without relapsing?

    1. Plz, getvon klonopin low dose from your doctor. A week or so of this will get u threw then end of the withdrawls…Dont suffer, take care

  37. Hello Allieymay. Everyone stops using drugs in different ways which suit their personal needs. Some people stop cold turkey. Others taper and wean the amount of drug to reduce withdrawal symptoms slowly. But the best thng to do to get off K2 or Spice is to seek medical help. It’s possible that there may be medications that can help ease symptoms or medical supervision that can provide reassurance.

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