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IS SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA DANGEROUS?

INVESTIGATING DRUG USE AMONG BABY BOOMERS

Real marijuana is still illegal in any form in a majority of states.  Although the current trend is that by the end of the decade most states will allow some use, particularly for medical purposes.  However, there is currently a form of synthetic or fake marijuana that is being manufactured and sold legally. This legal form of fake marijuana has become very popular among teenagers because it is readily accessible and cheap to purchase.  But the question still remains, despite it being legal, is synthetic marijuana dangerous?

The difference between real marijuana and synthetic marijuana is significant.  Actually, the difference is so extreme that synthetic marijuana should not even be called marijuana.  Synthetic marijuana is more commonly called on the street as “Spice” or “K2”. The substance is made up of various types of plant material that is sprayed and coated with chemicals that will mimic the effects of the chemical in marijuana that causes people to get high, called THC.  Because all of these chemicals and plant material is legal, it is not against the law to make and/or use. Further, use of synthetic marijuana will not even show up on a drug test.

Since it is legal and unregulated, there can be many types of chemicals used on the plants.  This is where the danger comes into play.  Many times, the various chemicals used to create the high-like state in people’s brains are not even safe for human consumption.  But people use the synthetic marijuana despite the dangers.

One of the chemicals used in synthetic marijuana that makes it dangerous is called brodifacoum, which is a chemical often used in rat poison.  Brodifacoum is an anticoagulant. Because of this chemical, many users have been hospitalized due to excessive bleeding. People have found blood in their urine, feces and in extreme cases have bled from the eyes and ears.  Further, the chemicals used make synthetic marijuana much stronger than regular marijuana. The chemicals can give users a high that is two to three times more powerful than the THC chemical in regular marijuana allows. Therefore, people become hooked on it even faster.

So, given this danger, how could synthetic marijuana still be legal?  Even though some of the chemical formulas have been outlawed, manufacturers merely have to change the formula and use different chemicals to skirt the few laws that are in place.  Also, even though manufacturers of synthetic marijuana know that people use the substances to get high, they will merely put on the packaging “Not For Human Consumption” and again, can skirt the law and responsibility for any harm their product causes.  It has been reported that there are over 150 types of synthetic marijuana currently on the market.  Until the entire industry is regulated in some manner, this type of drug will continue to be made and cause injury and addiction.

The fact that synthetic marijuana is dangerous and can be addicting is something parents need to watch in their teenage sons and daughters.  If you suspect that someone that you know is abusing synthetic marijuana or any other drug or alcohol, the best step is to approach them with help and from a point of non-judgment and understanding.  There is help out there even though it may seem there is not light at the end of the tunnel.

The supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. We’re deeply committed to ensuring your long-term recovery and guiding you on your path to a healthier and happier future. There is no better time than now, and we’re always available to speak with you. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.

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