The use of synthetic marijuana is still beyond control as government officials are trying to battle the ever-growing consumption of the drug without that much success. Despite lawmaker’s efforts to stop the consumption of the street drug, the number of cases reported to poison control in relation to the use of the drug has doubled in 2015.
Synthetic marijuana is also known as K2 or Spice and is actually a lot more harmful than it sounds. It is actually a mix of chemicals sprayed on clipped grass blades, tea leaves and other plants in order to mimic the aspect marijuana has when chopped up. But the dangerous chemical mix continues to send many people to the hospital as it causes seizures and psychotic episodes when consumed.
The drug gets its name, “synthetic marijuana”, from the substances is contains. The chemicals used to spray the plants are artificial cannabinoids produced by man, and mimic the actual cannabinoids found in marijuana, which are a group of psychoactive substances naturally produced by the plant.
However the danger with these fabricated, synthetic cannabinoids is that both the ingredients and the concentration in which they are found in the drug you can buy on the streets can vary immensely. This means that both the artificial drug’s contents and its effects can be very different from those of actual marijuana.
In other words, you can never be sure of what the drug contains and what unfortunate side effects it can have as it depends on who makes it and what exactly the person making it uses in the chemical mix. It’s a Russian roulette in a way, as drug users can never know what to expect from it.
According to Angel Stanley, a psychiatric nurse working at a rehab center where patients with addictions to synthetic marijuana receive treatment, the symptoms patients experience vary widely, from visual and auditory hallucinations to delusions, disorganized thinking and paranoia.
Many drug users reported that their expectations in terms of effects were the same as from regular marijuana, as the drug was represented as being a synthetic version of the plant, but their experiences differed widely from those associated with the consumption of regular marijuana. This makes it difficult for medical professionals to treat addicts, as their reactions vary all the time.
Lawmakers are also facing an uphill battle when it comes to the drug, as new versions of synthetic cannabinoids appear all the time in order to bypass a federal ban that has outlawed more than a dozen such substances already. However drug dealers find new ingredients that are not covered by the ban time and time again, staying one step ahead of the lawmakers and managing to even sell the drug legally in some stores.
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