Smoking Spice – What Are the Dangers?

Smoking Spice – What Are the Dangers?

What exactly is Spice?

When you hear the term “Spice” it refers to a particular brand name of a group of herbal mixtures that can be smoked. In some areas of the world, these herbal mixtures are sold in head shops and similar establishments; they can also be purchased on the Internet. Spice, along with other drugs of similar types, is a form of a synthetic cannabinoid.

The brand, Spice, which first appeared some time in the early 2000’s, now has a great deal of competing products that have been made available by other manufacturers. One of these other common brands of synthetic cannabis is known as “K2”. Other names for spice are fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, and Clockwork Orange.

These chemical and psychoactive herbal products are most often made from plant materials and herbs that are olive-coloured. They have been infused with a synthetic analog of THC, which is the active compound found in cannabis. Often these synthetic chemicals are even more potent than THC. It becomes very difficult for users to know for sure what is actually in each drug, due to the fact that these products are unregulated. For this reason, there is a great danger potential to taking K2, Spice, or any other synthetic cannabis product. When you are not aware of the chemicals or drugs you are using or how potent they may be, it can lead to an extremely dangerous situation.

Are There Risks in Taking Synthetic Cannabinoids?

The prime ingredient that is active in cannabis is THC. Synthetic cannabinoids act in the same way. The harmful effects that are produced are nearly the same as those affiliated with cannabis. However, several synthetic cannabinoids are new to the market. It is possible for these to have affects that are completely unknown at this time. Of course, there are other risks associated with smoking the plant material itself, just as there is with smoking cannabis or tobacco.

  • There is the possibility of an increased risk of the development of psychotic illnesses, such as schizophrenia, when synthetic cannabinoid products are used on a regular basis.
  • Because synthetic cannabinoids have such a high strength of these synthetic compounds, compared to cannabis, and because there is a large range of a multitude of chemicals being produced, experts are concerned that the effect of synthetic cannabinoids has the potential of being more harmful than cannabis.
  • At times, the effects of a few of these synthetic cannabinoids may last longer than cannabis. Due to the lack of information available about what the mixture contains it is difficult to know the strength of each of these different products.
  • Some sources have reported that synthetic cannabinoid AM2201 may be responsible for panic attacks, convulsions, and increased heart rates. Other synthetic cannabinoids are likely to have similar adverse effects.
  • From both official reports and unofficial reports, it would seem that when synthetic cannabinoids are used, there is a greater chance of having an increased heart rate. Further, they reveal that the feeling of being on edge, being restless, drowsy or feeling tired, and even hallucinating or being sick, are all risks associated with this drug.

Looking for a Spice Drug Test Kit?

Zoom Testing now offers a selection of urine drug tests for Spice. We also offer a presumptive test which can be used to identify if a substance is a synthetic cannabinoid.

Photo by DEA

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been updated since.

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