It hasn’t been very long ago that different types of synthetic marijuana
began to make their way into gas stations, head shops and other similar
retailers. It goes by names that number in hundreds, such as Spice, K-2,
Bliss, Skunk, JWH-018, Moon Rocks, Yucatan Fire and Blaze.
The symptoms of synthetic pot are numerous, unlike real marijuana. Synthetic
marijuana can cause hallucinations, vomiting, agitation, seizures, chest
pain, brain damage and stroke. It even causes death. Researchers are finally
beginning to understand more about this drug. They have determined that
the synthetic variant of marijuana is not the same thing as regular pot.
In fact, the way that synthetic cannabis affects the brain can cause death.
When regular marijuana affects the brain, it’s because of its active
ingredient known as THC. This activates a cannabinoid receptor in the
brain, but only partially. The THC in synthetic pot activates the same
receptor, but it does it completely. One medical toxicologist and emergency
room doctor said that synthetic marijuana “is NOT marijuana. Its
action in the brain may be similar but the physical effect is so different.”
The potency of
synthetic marijuana is also a problem — it can be up to 100 times or more potent than
regular pot. However, the clearest proof that synthetic pot is completely
different from regular pot is that someone suffering from an overdose
of either kind will experience different effects. The one on the regular
pot will likely seem mellow, interactive and funny. With synthetic marijuana,
someone overdosing will be agitated, sweaty and angry.
Much of the synthetic pot is made in China in underground labs. There’s
no quality control in use. Just as one type of synthetic marijuana is
banned, another becomes available that has one different, but small, component changed.
Synthetic marijuana is banned in every state. However, the FDA is slow
catching up with the issues caused by the drug. In July 2012, the
Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act became law. This added some types of synthetic pot and cathinones to the
federal controlled substance act.
For those who have been charged with the possession of synthetic marijuana
or another crime involving it, a strong defense is needed. Due to the
current disparities in laws, an experienced Maryland criminal defense
attorney may help mitigate the penalties.
Source: Forbes, “Why Synthetic Marijuana Is More Toxic To The Brain Than Pot,” Alice G. Walton, accessed June 03, 2015