Watch Our K2 Spice Webinar: Synthetic Marijuana Facts
Welcome to our presentation! We are TestCountry and today, we’ll be exploring K2/Spice and everything you need to know to stay current on synthetic marijuana.
What is synthetic marijuana? Well, it’s a designer drug in which herbs and other leafy materials are sprayed with lab-synthesized liquid chemicals to mimic the effects of THC, which is the active chemical found in cannabis or marijuana. This designer drug has been designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of the original drug, while avoiding classification as illegal and detection in standard drug tests. synthetic marijuana, or K2/Spice, is often sold and distributed in little colorful packets labeled not for human consumption, allowing the sellers to bypass laws preventing them from selling synthetic marijuana.
K2/Spice was first created by Dr. John Huffman, a professor at Clemson University who studied synthetic cannabis to assist in the research of AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and chemotherapy. A 1984 study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found 450 synthetic cannabinoid compounds. Not one compound is deemed safe for human consumption, a disclaimer that is on the packaging to this day. K2 was first sold as a recreational drug in 2004, in the UK. By 2006, it had gained a considerable hold on the market, and the brand name Spice had become a generic term for all synthetic cannabis.
Synthetic marijuana can be made with hundreds of different liquid chemicals that are blended with Acetone and then sprayed onto dried, shredded plant material. Commercial chemistry labs mostly concentrated in China and Pacific Rim countries produce these chemicals on-demand for distributors. K2 can be more potent than natural THC, potentially having much more dangerous side effects. Since it is frequently marked as incense and labeled not for human consumption sellers get around laws allowing public access to this drug. K2 can be ingested, smoked in pipes of joints, vaped through e-cigarettes, or even made into tea.
Some other common street names for synthetic marijuana include Fake Weed, Moon Rocks, and Black Mamba. Scooby Snax is also very popular. These names tend to match the colorful pictures depicted on the packets that they’re sold in.
Here are some of the side effects from K2/Spice. As you can see, it can range from very mild symptoms such as feeling relaxed and having mild changes in perception to having panic attacks and intense hallucinations. Even severe symptoms such as seizures, convulsions, extreme anxiety, and lasting psychotic episodes can occur. Popular belief is that synthetic marijuana is safe, non-toxic, and elicits mind-altering effect similar to regular marijuana. Serious toxicities can occur with use of synthetic marijuana leading some to seek emergency room treatment.
So with all these dangerous side effects, why do people still use K2? Well, people find thrill in the intensity of the high and seek to get the same, if not more high as marijuana. Before federal authorities began cracking down on K2/Spice, people were using it instead of marijuana. People also use it for its low cost and hidden use. In addition, it’s widely accessible as it can be purchased online both in packets and in bulk, allowing for its cheap price and ease in distribution.
Here are some statistics of synthetic marijuana. K2/Spice is the second-most popular illegal drug currently used by high school seniors, the first being marijuana. In fact, more than 10% of high school seniors have reported to using Spice. It’s also very popular among the homeless due to its accessibility and cheap price. For example, a person is able to buy K2/Spice for as little as $1 a packet in upper Manhattan. In 2010, there were over 11,000 ER Visits due to synthetic marijuana. In this report, 75% of users were young adults from ages 12 to 29. 77.5% were males and 22.5% were females, showing that males are likely to use K2/Spice.
In terms of legality, only 5 chemicals in K2/Spice are illegal under Federal Law. These 5 actually stem from the laboratory in Clemson University when the researchers shared their results with the federal authorities. Over 450 formulations remain legal. This is because laboratories can easily alter a part in a known chemical formulation, and so by the time one chemical compound is being investigated, 2 or 3 others have been made. Laws have been passed banning K2 in many states, and so authorities have begun to take steps in cracking down the drug. For example, California criminalized the sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana in 2011.
What do you do if someone has taken a synthetic drug? You should call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222, where they have trained professionals who deal with K2/Spice patients on a daily basis and know exactly what to do. You should call 9-1-1 immediately if you see someone using K2/Spice stop breathing, collapsing, or having a seizure.
Here at TestCountry, we also have some solutions for you in terms of testing for K2/Spice. We have the most sensitive instant K2 Test on the market with a capability of detecting up to 18 different compounds, available in a urine dip card format. You might be wondering how effective testing for 18 compounds will be when there’s over 450 formulations available. Well, these 18 compounds tend to account for most strains of synthetic marijuana that’s abused, so you’ll have a very good chance at getting a positive test for someone who abuses K2. We also have Laboratory Confirmation by GC/MS in case of a positive test. Generally, synthetic marijuana can be detected for up to 72 hours in human urine. In the case of chronic exposure, the window of detection is much longer.
This concludes our presentation of synthetic marijuana. We’d like to take this time to share with you a special promotion that we’re having at TestCountry. For your purchases on rapid drug tests and health and wellness tests, use the coupon code FREESHIP250 to get free shipping on orders of $249 or more! If you have any questions or comments, we can be reached at 1-877-407-1766. Thanks for reading!