Synthetic cannabis and synthetic marijuana dangers

Synthetic cannabis dangers include rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, raised blood pressure, reduced blood supply to the heart and, in a few cases, heart attacks. More here.

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Synthetic cannabis and synthetic marijuana are just as dangerous as illicit drugs. Not only can you develop physical or psychological Spice dependence, but you can also experience hallucinogenic effects.  Here, we explore the dangers of synthetic marijuana and how to help Spice addiction.  Plus, more on how the drug is produced, what its effects are and why it has become so popular. Then, we invite your questions about the dangers of synthetic cannabis at the end.

Synthetic cannabis: what are you smoking?

Synthetic drugs have been in the news lately and, unfortunately, on many store shelves.  Because they are not seen by many as being “real” drugs, sometimes it is assumed that synthetic cannabis products are safer than other drugs but this is wrong. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), chemical analysis has proven that there are hidden chemicals in these synthetic drugs that are not printed on the ingredients label, meaning people don’t really know what they are smoking or ingesting with these drugs.

The synthetic marijuana brand also known as “Spice” is created by manufacturing synthetic cannabinoids that mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the substance in marijuana that produces the desired high. When the synthetic cannabinoids are sprayed on dried herbs, it creates something akin to naturally occurring marijuana. But it can be specifically created to produce a high 15 times more powerful than natural pot.

Effects of synthetic cannabis

The high of synthetic marijuana is similar to that of regular marijuana, including elevated mood, relaxation, altered perception and in some cases extreme anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations. The cannabinoid compounds in synthetic marijuana act much the same as regular marijuana, binding to cell receptors in the body but some of the compounds found in synthetic marijuana have been found to bind much more strongly.

Dangers of synthetic cannabis

More frightening, though, is that because the major known compounds in synthetic marijuana are being banned in many areas, producers are trying new chemicals that aren’t technically banned yet and these unknown compounds could cause drastically different effects on the body.

Smokers of synthetic marijuana have been taken to Poison Control Centers to be dealt with and have reported symptoms including: rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion and hallucinations. It can also lead to raised blood pressure, reduced blood supply to the heart and has, in a few cases, been associated with heart attacks.

The demand for synthetic marijuana is increasing

NIDA has found that synthetic marijuana is second only to actual marijuana in popularity among high school students and this is so due to the erroneous assumption that it is safer than other drugs and the false belief that the psychoactive effects are produced naturally and therefore are deemed to be harmless. It has also gained popularity because it is difficult to pick up in standard drug tests.

What do you think?

Please send us your questions, comments or responses about the growing epidemic aurrounding use of synthetic cannabis. We try to respond to all questions personally and promptly.

About the author
Lena Butler is a mom, health blogger and customer service representative for TestCountry. TestCountry is a San Diego based point of service diagnostic test service provider that offers a wide range of laboratory and instant testing kit solutions including drug tests, metal toxicity, DNA paternity, food and water tests and hundreds more. TestCountry's tests are easy to use and can be performed at your home or workplace.


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  1. Beware of that synthetic cannabis because it is dangerous. It’s harmful and not good for the health.

  2. Just wanted to post to let everyone know just how dangerous the synthetic marijuana really is. My son, who was 36 years old, had been using it for a few years, and had finally decided to stop using it. He used up all that he had left, and then quit smoking it, only to find that the first day in he was already too hooked to just stop cold turkey. He had no access to getting any more and on the second day he committed suicide rather then to keep going without it. We are crushed that we have now lost a wonderful soul to such a senseless waste. This stuff is so terribly addictive! One of the cops who showed up at the suicide scene even asked “couldn’t he get any of the good stuff” meaning actual marijuana. I guess they deliberately make it so much stronger then the real stuff just to ensure that the users stick with them. My son died 4 days ago, and if I can just keep one person from making the same mistake he made, then it will help me. I knew what was happening and never felt that he couldn’t handle it, and thus I wasn’t there for him when he needed me the most. Please if you are even considering using this stuff please stop. Get professional help, and don’t try to quit on your own. I failed him, and will never forgive myself for that. Please don’t let yourself, or someone you love be another victim of this horrifying drug!

    1. Hi Bill. I’m really sorry for your loss… Hope your message will help others to stop using synthetic marijuana…

  3. I have question if someone is smoking a ear wax paste stuff which they say is like weed is it common for them to become , like there on the floor drooling and has no idea what’s going on is that normal

  4. My 30yr old husband is addicted to this crap now. I found out he’s been hiding it from me for months while pregnant with our 3rd baby. Our baby is almost 4mnths old and I’m doing everything i can to get him help and not leave. But it’s been too long with too much lying that I can’t take much more of this. The only time he tells the truth about it is when I catch him. Otherwise he may look and act high but without evidence he just lies.i want my husband back…

  5. Angela, check out our support group at spiceaddictionsupport,org – hundreds of people have shared their experiences w/ synthetic pot there. You should be able to learn everything you need to know.

    All the best,


  6. Angela, what ever town you are in there is help,. You could even go to your local hospital. Check yourself in. It’s drugs and they chane things in your body. I will pray for your healing Angela. My best , Mary

  7. Hi I’m Angela, I smoked what I thought to be weed, but I’m starting to question it now. I’m not able to concentrate, I forget things, I stop in the middle of sentences and totally forget what I was talking about, I’m throwing up, headaches, confusion, I forgot my name yesterday, I’m soo dizzy and tired, I’m having trouble reading too. I smoked 3 days straight and I never smoke that much ever. Many said its all in my head but I don’t think so. I stilll feel high a day later. Also my moods are crazy, I was soo pissed, then I was crying, and then pitafull. Please give me some answers, I still feel high. What’s wrong with me. Also I don’t kno what kind of weed I was smoking but I looked up laced weed pics and there it was! Please help

  8. I am so SICK and TIRED of all this nonsense with this synthetic garbage. Now I am a mom and although I don’t like the drug use I would rather see my kids smoke pot rather than this EVIL mess. For the people who created this one day they will stand before God for all the lives they have hurt and even those who have died from this stuff. Along with bath salts and so on.. We unfortunately have had to experience ours using this garbage too. So I do understand and that is why I said about using weed instead. In all my years I have NEVER heard of anyone going thru the turmoil just from smoking pot like they do with all this over the counter garb… I am just saying from our experience. (rants. rages, hallucination and on and on)… 🙁 BTW its not that I condone smoking weed but its better than this other stuff.

  9. Mari,
    I must tell you, that I told my son to go to rehab or leave my home and I would not give him money, change my locks, and take his car. I meant it. It scared him and he went in, but daily begged me to bring him home while in rehab. I put him in a rehab 3 hours away, and stopped taking the calls, and set hard limits. It worked for him. I pray for you and your son.

  10. Hello Mary. Thank you for sharing; I hope that this provides other parents or loved ones of Spice users with a ray of hope.

  11. I am posting again to report my 26 yr old son is now sober and free of spice. This is the boy I forgot and he is himself again. He is happy to be off the stuff. The detox of it put him in an ICU for 4 days where he raged uncontrollably. The first months home were edgy and now a year later he is living on his own with a nice girl, and working. Clean.

  12. Thank you Jarred. I will pray for you. My 25 yr old is in detox for spice, k2. Mr. Happy,etc addiction. I hate how it has changed him into a raging monster. I am truly scared to death. This stuff is awful . It is so addicting. I want to get the word out. This is the LSD of the young generation. I have seen the effects. Severe coughing. Chronic nausea and vomiting. Sleeplessness. Inability to eat, abdominal pain. Agitation. Severe anxiety. Stealing, lying, hiding, job losses, rages, all those addiction behaviors. They sell this at the gas stations.

  13. This is dangerous stuff. How this stuff is legal I hav no idea, its a serious drug which needs to be taken off the market. Its lethal. Ive tried it, took 1 puff and it blew my socks off. I though I was loosing the plot. The only good thing about it is that it wears off quickly

  14. I’ve used synthetic marijuana for 2 years and its the most evil substance I’ve put into my body..I’ve smoked crack for 6months years back and the addiction to spice is far worse than that..not to mention all the physical and mental damage it does..I’m currently experiencing strange “squirming” sensations in the brain as well intense sharp pains to the heart, I’m also experiencing random body movements/jerks t random times..I’m in “group” at a center called solutions to assist with the addiction..I’ve been sober for about a month or a lil longer and I’ve never been more scared..its in my dreams every night and the symptoms I’ve described are getting worse…please never ingest this drug..if you know anyone using it please get them help or else they will die or end up in a mental hospital..

  15. Great job with this article. We really need to get the word out to people who are thinking about using synthetic marijuana. It’s a horrible drug and needs to be banned asap.

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