Regardless of the title “artificial marijuana,” these lab-made chemical substances aren’t marijuana in any respect and carry excessive well being dangers.
Whereas artificial marijuana is a laboratory-produced substance that’s not meant for human consumption, it incorporates a chemical analog that binds to the identical receptors as cannabinoids from natural marijuana to elicit a euphoric excessive.
Even if artificial marijuana has proven to be extraordinarily harmful, it’s sadly develop into considerably common amongst highschool college students and younger adults over latest years due to its straightforward availability at smoke retailers and fuel stations across the nation. Some black market sellers are even promoting low-cost artificial pot, passing it off as actual marijuana.
What’s Artificial Marijuana?
Artificial marijuana – additionally generally known as artificial cannabinoids, SC’s or synncanns – is usually composed of shredded plant materials sprayed with a man-made chemical analog that binds with the identical receptors within the mind because the lively ingredient in pure marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Beginning within the early 2000s, artificial marijuana grew to become common as a reasonable and authorized approach to get excessive, with artificial weed manufacturers like “K2” and “Spice” dominating the market and being inconspicuously bought on-line and in some smoke retailers and comfort shops.
This controversial “designer drug” is smoked equally to pure, natural marijuana, and artificial cannabinoids are undetectable to straightforward marijuana drug checks, permitting customers to make use of them freely with out the priority they’d violate office, probation, or athletic group insurance policies.
Artificial marijuana was developed within the 1990s by South Carolina chemist John William Huffman in an effort to attempt to discover a approach to imitate the pure cannabinoids present in cannabis for analysis functions. These man-made compounds have been meant to assist higher perceive how cannabinoids work together with the physique’s endocannabinoid system and have been by no means supposed for private use.
These artificial cannabinoids are easy to provide, and covert producers utilized Huffman’s printed analysis to make and distribute the artificial chemical substances commercially.
Aside from the monikers K2 and Spice, artificial cannabinoid merchandise are bought as “natural incense” or “potpourri” below lots of of various model names, a few of that are:
- Black Mamba
- Cloud 9
- Window XX
- No Extra Mr. Good Man
- Cowboy Kush
- Scooby Snax
- Crimson Large
- Mr. Dangerous Man
- Geeked Up
Use of artificial marijuana is alarmingly excessive, particularly amongst highschool college students in America. A 2012 Monitoring the Future survey discovered that one in 9 12 graders reported utilizing artificial cannabinoids up to now yr.
Natural marijuana is a pure plant that grows within the wild and is cultivated commercially for medical and leisure functions. Actual marijuana incorporates greater than 100 cannabinoids, together with THC, the intoxicating compound that causes euphoric results.
Regardless of the title, artificial marijuana is chemically not marijuana in any respect. Slightly, artificial marijuana consists of lively chemical substances that try to merely mimic THC’s organic results. Nevertheless, artificial marijuana produces very totally different results than natural marijuana, because it’s been discovered to be anyplace between 2 to 100 instances stronger than pure THC.
Regardless of natural marijuana being a lot safer, some folks smoke artificial marijuana to keep away from a optimistic drug take a look at. Not consisting of any THC, artificial marijuana couldn’t be examined for up to now and nonetheless doesn’t present up on most traditional drug checks. Nevertheless, new specialised urine-based checks have been developed that may detect artificial marijuana.
Artificial marijuana is usually cheaper than pure marijuana, prompting some customers to sadly disregard the excessive well being dangers of artificial marijuana to economize. An oz. of natural marijuana can value $200 to $300, whereas the worth for a 1-ounce bag of artificial marijuana usually ranges anyplace between $10 and $50.
Is Artificial Marijuana Authorized?
Artificial cannabinoid merchandise are for essentially the most half now not authorized in the USA. With that mentioned, it’s troublesome for legislation language to maintain up with ever-changing artificial drug formulations.
Since first showing in shops within the mid-2000s when state or federal drug legal guidelines didn’t particularly ban the substances, particular artificial cannabinoids have been made unlawful below federal legislation. The Drug Enforcement Company in 2011 used emergency protocols to briefly schedule the substances present in artificial marijuana merchandise.
The following yr, in 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Artificial Drug Abuse Prevention Act to completely place 15 artificial cannabinoids and a number of other different courses of psychoactive substances into Schedule I of the Managed Substances Act. This classifies these particular artificial cannabinoids among the many most restrictive substances.
The issue for lawmakers, nonetheless, is that the chemical buildings utilized in these artificial marijuana merchandise may be recombined in a approach to evade prohibition. New artificial medication are regularly being created.
Regardless of some producers making an attempt to get away with promoting artificial cannabinoids by packaging them with “not for human consumption” labeling, many states have additionally enacted prison and civil penalties for the sale of artificial marijuana merchandise. States like New Hampshire, Nebraska, and New York have all cracked down on the sale of synthetic weed.
Are There Dangers Related to Utilizing Artificial Marijuana?
The higher efficiency of artificial marijuana typically ends in medical and psychiatric emergencies. Artificial marijuana is an unregulated and harmful chemical substance that may trigger customers to behave erratically and expertise respiratory issues that trigger them to break down.
Whereas pure marijuana has by no means been reported as the only real explanation for a deadly overdose, lab-made artificial cannabinoids may be lethal. At the very least 20 deaths have to this point been linked to using artificial marijuana. Emergency room visits associated to artificial cannabinoid use rose sharply within the early 2010s, with the newer annual knowledge numbers reaching nearly 30,000.
A toxicologist investigating the results of artificial marijuana noticed greater than 30 situations during which youngsters had unfavourable reactions, resembling:
- Extreme agitation
- Elevated coronary heart charges
- Dilated pupils
- Suicidal ideas
- Further issues with their cardiovascular and central nervous programs
The Nationwide Institute of Drug Abuse additionally particulars the hazards of controversial artificial marijuana, together with inflicting customers to expertise “nervousness and agitation, nausea and vomiting, hypertension, shaking and seizures, hallucinations and paranoia, they usually could act violently.”
Moreover, the contents of artificial marijuana are unpredictable as a result of producers continuously change the chemical substances used within the manufacturing course of.
Methods to Acknowledge Artificial Marijuana
Distinction in Appearances
Actual marijuana is bought as dried flower buds. For those who look shut you will note it’s lined in positive white or orange “hairs” and each 90 levels a node or hub comes off its stem. When bought from a dispensary, it’s usually packaged in jars or clear or opaque plastic barrier baggage with a resealable closure.
What does artificial marijuana seem like? Artificial marijuana usually has the looks of ground-up grass or different plant materials. As a result of it’s normally made out of various vegetation, it seems to be like a combination and resembles potpourri. Artificial marijuana is most usually bought in small, colourful packets that label the contents as “incense” or “potpourri.” Packages are additionally generally labeled as “not for human consumption” to bypass U.S. Meals and Drug Administration rules.
Variations in Scent
Actual marijuana has a definite, robust musky odor that’s typically in comparison with the scent of a skunk.
The odor of artificial marijuana is totally totally different, and is usually described as stale, smelly, pungent, or moist. In some circumstances, it might have a slight odor of regardless of the substance is labeled as and totally different fruit flavors are frequent. You may additionally discover it smells like chemical substances.
Methods to Keep away from Shopping for Artificial Marijuana
For those who reside in a state the place leisure or medical marijuana is authorized, you possibly can simply keep away from shopping for artificial marijuana by solely buying from licensed dispensaries. Respected medical or leisure marijuana dispensaries solely promote regulated cannabis merchandise, so that you gained’t discover any faux or artificial marijuana merchandise there.
For those who make purchases from sellers on-line or in fuel stations, comfort shops, novelty retailers, or smoke retailers, you permit your self prone to purchasing harmful artificial marijuana merchandise.
The identical is the case when shopping for from particular person sellers working on the unlawful market. Whereas most are promoting actual marijuana flower, some have been caught promoting artificial marijuana.
Those that reside in states the place cultivating marijuana is authorized even have the choice to develop their very own actual vegetation at dwelling for private use.