Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed on dried, shredded plant material to be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices. These products are also known as herbal incense or liquid incense.
Cannabinoids (CBD) are a class of chemicals found in cannabis that act on the same receptors as THC. Because they resemble compounds found in marijuana, these chemicals are called cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids are sometimes incorrectly referred to as synthetic marijuana (or fake weed) because of their chemical similarities, and they are frequently marketed as safe, legal alternatives to marijuana.
However, they are not only ineffective, but they can also be harmful to the brain much more significantly than marijuana. Their true impacts may be unpredictable, and in certain circumstances, even deadly or life-threatening.
Synthetic cannabinoids are one of several types of new psychoactive substances (NPS). New psychoactive substances, or NPS, are untested mind-altering drugs that have recently come on the market with the aim of simulating illicit narcotics. Some of these compounds may have been around for years but have resurfaced in new chemical forms or as new substances altogether.
Manufacturers market these goods in bright foil wraps and plastic bottles to entice customers. These items are marketed under a variety of distinct brand names. Synthetic cannabinoid mixtures have been available for several years in drug paraphernalia stores, novelty shops, gasoline stations, and over the internet.
Because the chemicals they contain have no medical value and a high potential for abuse, some of these compounds are now prohibited to sell, purchase, or possess. Manufacturers, on the other hand, seek to circumnavigate these restrictions by altering the chemical formulations in their mixtures.
Synthetic cannabinoids’ ease of access and the perception that they are natural, so therefore safe, may have contributed to their popularity among minors. Another factor is that many of the chemicals in these substances are difficult for standard drug testing to detect.
Synthetic Cannabinoids – Addiction
Synthetic cannabinoids can be habit-forming. People who use synthetic cannabinoids on a regular basis might experience the following symptoms as they try to quit:
There have been no studies looking at how behavioral therapies and drugs may help with addiction to these items. Healthcare providers should routinely inquire about patients’ mental health status, especially in the presence of certain symptoms.
Synthetic Cannabinoids – Effects on Brain
Synthetic cannabinoids, like THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), act on the same brain cell receptors as marijuana’s mind-altering component.
Synthetic cannabinoids have received a lot of attention in the media recently, and studies of their effects on people’s brains are rare. Researchers do know that certain synthetic cannabinoids bind more strongly to THC-sensitive cell receptors than marijuana and can produce far more powerful results. However, the long-term health effects of using these drugs may be unpredictable and hazardous.
Because the chemical make-up of many synthetic cannabinoid products is unpredictable and may vary from batch to batch, it’s probable that they include chemicals that produce results considerably different than those anticipated by the user.
Synthetic cannabinoid users have reported a variety of effects including those caused by marijuana:
- elevated mood
- altered senses—a person’s awareness of surrounding things and circumstances are altered.
- the most common symptoms of psychosis—delusional or disturbed thinking that is divorced from reality
Psychotic effects include:
- hallucinations – sensations or images that seem genuine yet are not.
Additionally, Synthetic cannabinoids can induce severe side effects in humans, including:
- fast heart rate
- violent behavior
- suicidal thoughts
A person who consumes too much of a drug may suffer an adverse reaction that results in severe, harmful symptoms or death when using synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids can induce the following effects:
- researchers have gone through the main symptoms of an allergic reaction, including swollen eyelids and eyes.
- a rapid rise in blood pressure – referred to as a hypertensive crisis, during which time the individual may lose consciousness or suffer from severe dizziness.
- reduced heart blood supply
- damaged kidneys
When impure or dangerous synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, are combined with the drug without the user’s knowledge, fatalities may occur, resulting in unexpected death.
Smoking dried plant material is the most popular method for ingesting synthetic cannabinoids. Users also combine sprayed plant material with marijuana or brew it in the form of tea. Additionally, people use synthetic cannabinoid products as liquids to vaporize in e-cigarettes.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received several reports of severe bleeding in people who have used tainted synthetic cannabinoids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to other states, there have been various incidents. If you bought anything referred to as K2, spice, or synthetic marijuana, do not use it. It’s time to toss it out. If you’ve used any of these items and started having severe, unexplained bleeding or bruising, go to the hospital right away or call 911.
Please do not walk or drive yourself. Inform your health care provider or emergency services if you have used synthetic cannabinoids. If you are having a medical procedure, tell your medical practitioner whether you have used synthetic cannabinoids even if you don’t have symptoms.
All in All
Some people may not be aware that they are using synthetic cannabinoids, while others know what they’re doing. There is no way to tell if an individual has used this drug just by looking at them or talking with them. It’s important for parents and adults, in general, to educate themselves about the drugs their children might use so they can keep track of where their kids are going and who they’re associating with.
The best defense against teenagers experimenting with these substances is knowledge-based education initiatives targeted towards teens and young adults. These campaigns should include information on both the risks associated with prescription medication misuse as well as recreational drugs like synthetic cannabis products, which have become increasingly popular over the last few years due largely to their availability online via sites.