Synthetic cannabis, also known as K2 or Spice, is a psychoactive designer drug developed from natural herbs and synthetic chemicals that simulate the pleasurable effects of cannabis. There is controversy about calling Spice and K2 synthetic cannabis because the ingredients contained in these products are mimics, not duplicates of THC. When synthetic cannabis blends first hit the market in the early 2000s, it was believed that they produced their effects through a mixture of legal herbs. Laboratory analysis showed that this was not the case, and that they in fact contained synthetic cannaboids that act on the body in a similar way to cannabinoids naturally found in cannabis, such as THC. JWH018 is a synthetic cannabinoid that is widely associated with herbal blends products that are conveniently available on the Internet and in many head shops. Among the more popular brands of “herbal incense” products that are sold these days include K2, Spice Gold, Black Mamba, Spice, Spice Diamond, and Puff.
Because JWH018 is not a THC, detecting its presence in an individual’s body is not possible with just any standard urine or saliva drug test.
Although there isn’t sufficient statistics that can validate whether or not K2 spice and other “herbal incense” products sprayed with JWH018 can lead to dependence, some experts believe that repeated exposure to these products can result to addiction. German researchers once reported the case of a 20-year-old man who had been using the Spice Gold product daily for eight months.
Not long after starting the product, the man found that he needed larger and larger doses to feel an effect. He quickly increased his use to 3 grams per day. The man felt a continuous need for the product. He was unable to get it for a period of time and experienced unrest, drug craving, nightmares, sweating, nausea, tremor, headache, high blood pressure, and racing heartbeat. This went away when he again began using the product.
On the other hand, some hospital doctors in the US have expressed their concern over the possible link of K2 in heart damage. In 2010, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas has treated two K2 cases that involve two male teenagers who complained of serious chest pains and heart palpitations. One of the boys suffered long-term heart damage. Dr. Colin Kane, a pediatric cardiologist who treated both cases said “We’re theorizing that something in the K2 caused his coronary arteries to spasm, causing blockage of blood flow temporarily to his heart.”
In a different case, K2 is being investigated in the death of 19-year-old Dominique Tate, who died Friday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. The Dallas County medical examiner is awaiting toxicology results before determining the cause of Tate’s death, but K2 might not show up since it isn’t on drug screening tests.
There was also the case of a 28-year-old woman from Indiana who died from smoking a synthetic marijuana product. According to WXIN-TV in Indianapolis, the mother of two is dead after using a synthetic-marijuana laced incense known as “Spice.”
From the standpoint of Jahan Marcu – cannabinoid researcher based at Temple University in Philadelphia – synthetic cannabinoid compounds shouldn�t be used by people, whether by means of smoking or mixing them with their food or drinks. This because there are a lot of JWH compounds and JWH that are unique and very potent even at low doses.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]