Marijuana is a drug derived from the Cannabis Plant. The extraction or smoking process brings out the drugs in the plant, referred to as “cannabinoids.” While Marijuana has been around for a very long time, new designer drugs have been made to mimic its effects and sneak past detection.
One of these drugs is sold as K2 or Spice Gold, usually called, “Spice.” Up until the recent federal ban, Spice was sold in smoke shops and other businesses as surprisingly costly herbal ‘incense.’ Now that the drug has been taken from the retail shelves, the drug has gone underground, sold on the black market.
Drugs like Spice are actually made with chemically developed cannabinoid substances, referred to as synthetic cannabinoids. Up to ten of these substances have been identified in lab testing of Spice.
With Marijuana, the euphoric high comes, in part, from the partial binding of THC to the body’s own cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are involved in the regulation of the immune system, body temperature control, perception, memory, problem solving, and food intake.
These affects are in addition to affects on hormones and other important body functions. With synthetic cannabinoids, unlike Marijuana, the binding to these receptors is a lot tighter, often leading to exaggerated effects, as well as increased risks and potential harm.
While some of these effects are immediate and obvious, it is unknown how much later and long-term harm can occur, as these substances are stored in the body for long periods of time.
Many of the users of Spice have reported effects similar to the use of Methamphetamines, like seizures, hallucinations, severe agitation, racing heartrate, and other potentially fatal symptoms. While the federal ban has removed the drug from retail store shelves, a lot more must be done to combat the production and illegal distribution of this dangerous drug compound.