If you’ve found yourself well and truly confused as to what synthetic marijuana is, what it does and whether it should be avoided at all costs…well, let’s just say you are hardly in the minority. It’s had a hell of a lot of press coverage over recent months, but at the same time it’s not really the done thing for the mass media to be honest about things. Instead, it’s all about sensationalising every little thing that comes along in order to sell newspapers.
So in order to clear up at least a little of the confusion by focusing on the facts, here’s the first of a two-part Q&A on the truth behind synthetic marijuana:
Q – What Exactly Is Synthetic Marijuana?
The most important question of all is also one that doesn’t have a straightforward answer. The reason being that synthetic marijuana refers to an extraordinary array of products to which dozens of new entries are being added by the month. What we all have in common however is that they do not contain anything even remotely connected to marijuana whatsoever. Instead, they use a wide variety of synthetic chemicals cooked up in laboratories that are supposed to have the same effect as THC. Technically speaking, these chemicals could be ingested in a wide variety of ways, but in order to make such products look and function more like a real marijuana, the manufacturers tend to spray chemicals all over bits and pieces of diced plants.
Suffice to say, this is in every respect about as far away from real marijuana as it gets.
Q – Is Synthetic Marijuana a New Development?
Technically speaking, the answer is no – synthetic marijuana has been around in one form or another for decades. Academic research over countless generations brought the world an extraordinary number of synthetic drugs and substances – everything from LSD to ecstasy and so on. It’s only as of relatively recently that synthetic marijuana has both hit the headlines and become so widely used due to it becoming easier to manufacture and thus more widely available. And the more widely available it is, the cheaper it comes and the more curious newcomers decide to give it a shot.
Q – Are K2 and Spice the Same Thing?
There are certain brands of synthetic marijuana that are better known than others – some have practically become household names. But while synthetic substances like K2 and Spice technically belong to the same family, what actually goes into each product could be quite spectacularly different. The simple fact of the matter is that there are literally hundreds, maybe even thousands of different approaches to creating synthetic cannabis and you often have absolutely no idea what it is that the package contains. So while products like K2 and Spice are grouped under the same category, they can be fundamentally different in every way.
Q – Is Synthetic Marijuana Expensive?
In a word, no – why do you think it tends to be considerably more popular than the real deal in poorer areas? It is perfectly legal to buy an extraordinary variety of synthetic marijuana products in enormous volumes online with significant bulk discounts. But even when picked up from the kinds of convenience stores or smoke shops that routinely sell the stuff these days, it tends to be comprehensively affordable. The current average in the United States is no more than about $50 for a generous ounce.
Q – What Effect Does Synthetic Marijuana Have On the User?
Once again, it is impossible to provide comprehensive answer to this question as it depends entirely on what types of chemicals the manufacturer has used and in what kinds of concentrations. In some instances, synthetic marijuana will have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the user. In others however, there have been quite extensive reports of absolutely terrifying reactions ranging from paranoia to severe anxiety to vomiting to hallucinations to seizures and even kidney failure. Somewhat underlining exactly how dangerous synthetic marijuana can be, a total of 15 deaths were recorded in the first four months of last year as being specifically caused by synthetic marijuana. Real marijuana, by contrast, killed nobody.
Stay tuned for the second half of our synthetic marijuana Q&A, coming soon.