Although similar to marijuana, Spice is a drug that is made by spraying manmade, mind-altering chemicals on dried, shredded plant-like material that can be smoked or liquidated to be used by e-cigarettes or used as liquid incense.
This drug is more dangerous than marijuana, and has been known to cause seizures, heart problems, dehydration, fever, and psychological damage after its use. There are four things to know about the Spice, or synthetic marijuana, drug.
1. It may be Called Synthetic Marijuana or Spice
The chemicals that are used for this drug are called cannabinoids because they are part of the same chemical family that is found in regular marijuana. Often referred to as “fake weed”, this drug is often sold as a safe and legal alternative to marijuana but is has been shown to affect the human brain much worse than that of normal marijuana. The affects are much more unpredictable and can be far more severe to the point of being life threatening.
2. It’s Not Meant for Human Use
These synthetic cannabinoids are a part of the group of drugs named NPS, or new psychoactive substances. According to the NIDA, the NPS are an unregulated mind-altering substance that are newly sold and are made to mimic the affects of the original illegal drugs. For many years, the synthetic cannabinoid drugs were easily found in drug and novelty stores, gas stations, and on various internet sites.
The affects of this drug have been shown to have no medical benefit but such high degrees of abuse that they have been made illegal to possess, buy, or sell by the authorities. Despite the law, manufacturers of the drug try to find loopholes that will allow them to sell by changing the chemical formulas in the concoctions.
According to the White House, the contents of synthetic cannabinoids are unpredictable due to the constant change of chemicals by manufacturers to control quality and government supervisory oversight.
Due to false advertising, many people have fallen prey to this drug and it is hard to detect due to its chemical composition.
3. Effects can be Deadly
On the brain, Spice affects the same brain receptors as regular marijuana due to the same chemical THC that both contain. However, scientists have found that with the other chemicals involved, Spice bind stronger to the receptors and cause stronger side effects than marijuana.
These effects can include an elevated mood, altered perception, relaxation, and psychotic delusions with psychotic effects including confusion, anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations.
There are also many health effects to this drug, which have sent many people to the ER. These effects include vomiting, a rapid heartrate, suicidal thoughts, and violent behavior and can cause damage to kidneys, raise blood pressure, reduce the blood flow to the heart, and cause seizures.
4. Use of Spice can Lead to Addiction
If used consistently, Spice could be addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, headaches, and irritability. The signs of addiction may include an obsession over possessing and using Spic, extreme fatigue, violence, paranoia, apathy, and hallucinations.
It is important to know the addictive signs and to get help early to ensure that the individual who may be addicted gets the help they need to become sober.
While Spice and marijuana have similar traits, Spice attacks the brain by binding stronger to the brain receptors and causes stronger effects. It is important to know what it is, how it effects people, and to know the signs of a potential addiction, but it is also important to note why it is not a good idea for people to use by understanding the chemicals inside.
If you or a loved one is suffering from synthetic cannabinoids or Spice and needs help, call 800-609-2774 to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you.