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The Dangers Of Synthetic ‘Marijuana’

A Closer Look Into A Potentially Deadly New Drug

One of the more recent and alarming trends in the U.S. lately is the use of so called synthetic ‘marijuana.’ While completely unrelated to the natural cannabinoids found in real marijuana, the compounds found in the fake weed provide a high that is said to be by a user “…more like crack than weed” with withdrawal symptoms that can often include seizures, nausea, and anxiety. Also unlike real marijuana, taking too much will kill you.

Another significant concern is that these synthetics have no real quality control. In Illinois, they are believed to already be responsible for four deaths with over a hundred more injured when a batch had been tainted with brodifacoum, an ingredient commonly used in rat poisons.

Synthetic cannabinoid analogs are often known as “full agonists” for the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the brain. THC and the rest of the natural cannabinoids found in marijuana, on the other hand, are only partial agonists. What this means, when it comes to effects, is that synthetic cannabinoids have greatly exaggerated effects compared to cannabis.

The Dangers Of Synthetic 'Marijuana'This also means synthetic marijuana lends itself much more readily to abuse than real weed. (As one recovering “K2” user cogently put it, “This stuff is more like crack than weed.”) And, unfortunately, it also means that synthetic marijuana—unlike the real stuff—can actually kill you.

Because of the much greater degree of cannabinoid receptor activation, the brain and body require longer to return to homeostasis (balance) after using synthetic marijuana. Rapid, “cold turkey” discontinuation of heavy synthetic cannabinoid use can result in seizures, nausea, anxiety, and panic attacks. Fortunately, real cannabis, as a partial CB1 agonist, can ease the process of quitting synthetic cannabinoids.

Have you ever tried synthetic weed before? Would you even consider it given the potential side effects?

Why Is ‘Synthetic Marijuana’ So Addictive And Dangerous?

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Brian Wroblewski

Brian Wroblewski has a passion for writing, travel, food and family. Since working in and around the cannabis industry since 2008, Brian brings a unique perspective to the cannabis journalism space. With a focus on emerging brands, moving the cannabis industry forward and an undeniable passion for truth in business and journalism, find some of Brian's posts across the web on digital marketing, cannabis and a variety of different topics.

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