Substance abuse can take a variety of different forms. Among the substances that your loved ones may take is synthetic marijuana. As the name suggests, it is a substance that mimics naturally grown marijuana, but it is made in a lab and has a variety of chemicals applied to the material.
Synthetic marijuana was originally sold in stores around the country as incense with a warning label that it is not for human consumption. Despite the warning label, some individuals used it as a drug and faced a variety of consequences.
The appearance of synthetic marijuana is similar to incense or an herbal material. The leafy foundation is usually either an herb or another plant that is used as incense or for fragrance, but the exact appearance may vary slightly depending on the plant that is used. In most cases, it is a dried and leafy plant.
The Synthetic Chemical
Although the base of the substance looks harmless, synthetic marijuana is sprayed with a chemical material that mimics tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
The part of marijuana that causes a psychotropic effect is tetrahydrocannabinol. Since the herbs, incense or plants used in synthetic marijuana are sprayed with a chemical that mimics THC, it causes a psychotropic effect when it is used in the same manner.
Dangers of the Drug
Synthetic marijuana is not a safe substance and is illegal due to the potential dangers of the substance. Although the substance was originally marketed as a natural product, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that tests into the substance showed that the THC compounds were synthetically created.
After it was discovered that synthetic marijuana was being abused, five of the chemical compounds in the substance were classified as dangerous to health and are illegal to buy, sell or possess, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The dangers associated with synthetic marijuana are the primary reason that certain chemicals are now illegal. The possible dangers of abusing synthetic marijuana include:
- Paranoid states of mind
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Lower rates of oxygen in the brain
- Vomiting and flu-like symptoms
- Anger or mood swings
- Heart attacks
Due to the psychotropic effects and the potential to develop hallucinations, synthetic marijuana is potentially dangerous to the individual using the substance as well as loved ones. In the worst case, rapid heart rates and lower levels of oxygen can result in a heart attack or death. Symptoms of withdrawals may also develop if the substance is abused for an extended period of time.
Importance of Education
A key reason that synthetic marijuana, which is also called spice or K2, is so dangerous is that many young individuals assume that it is safe. The label suggests that the substance is a natural product and it was legal to purchase until 2012, when the chemical substances were made illegal.
Educating children, teenagers and young adults about the potential dangers of synthetic marijuana is essential for their health and wellness. They may assume that it is safe and might abuse the substance without realizing the possible dangers.
Synthetic marijuana is a chemically sprayed compound that is abused in the same was as naturally grown marijuana. Since the substance is very dangerous to health, it is important to recognize the risks and educate young adults and teenagers about the dangers.