Some people who use herbal buds say that it produces a high similar to that of marijuana, but it doesn’t last as long. Others experience a relaxed feeling, rather than the “head high” that real marijuana produces. Also of note is the “harsh” taste, which people say “makes your throat burn and your lungs ache” long after you smoke.
Whether these observed symptoms will have lasting effects, particularly on adolescents and young adult users, is not yet known. Of course, smoking any substance could have negative effects on the lungs.
What the Experts Say
If you or a loved one has used synthetic marijuana and begin experiencing severe, unexplained bleeding or bruising, call 911 or asked a loved one to take you to the hospital immediately. These are all signs of contaminated cannabinoid products.
Hundreds of synthetic cannabinoids exist and the effects can be unpredictable and even life-threatening.
Since the chemical composition of fake weed is unknown and can change from batch to batch, tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal may also vary.
A synthetic cannabinoid is not a cannabis product, but a chemical analog that binds to the same system of receptors. THC, the primary psychoactive chemical in herbal cannabis, latches to CB1 receptors in the brain to produce a euphoric high, and synthetic cannabinoids also bind here, but with a much higher affinity.
Much can go wrong in the production process. A poorly mixed solution or an uneven spray job can result in chemical “hot spots,” or dangerously potent areas of the batch. The unlucky customer who happens to buy a bag with this concentrated chemical hot spot is likely to experience some pretty terrible side effects.
What is Synthetic Cannabis?
You can use your imagination to come up with tons of other production errors, especially in the hands of unexperienced or careless manufacturers. Is your novel cannabinoid source reliable? Is your potency analysis accurate? Is it actually the cannabinoid you think it is?
Rumors spread that it was legal and that it would mimic the effects of real cannabis. But when more and more people began suffering side effects (which in some cases led to death), concerns arose over synthetic cannabis, a designer drug made for those who prefer health risks to legal risks – or for those blind to the risks altogether.
All of these uncertainties are contributors to the dangerous side effects and even deaths from synthetic cannabis. So why are people turning to it despite its dangers?