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The Dangers of K2 and Spice, AKA Synthetic Marijuana

You’ve probably seen a few news reports on drugs like K2 and Spice. The drugs, also called “synthetic marijuana,” are sold on the street, seedy gas stations, and in illicit websites. But what are these synthetic drugs? Are they addictive? Let’s take a closer look at the effects of these drugs.

Why Do People Use K2/Spice?

Synthetic marijuana is a drug that's easy to get. Everyone who uses it wants to get high. But depending on the ingredients and the users' reaction, the experience sometimes turns out badly.

Teens may buy synthetic drugs because they're usually sold at seedy gas stations or through sketchy online marketplaces. There have also been many overdoses in urban areas near homeless shelters and drug treatment centers. Some people take the drug because it’s cheap ($2-10 a bag). Other drug users may be on probation and think that the drug can’t show up on screenings. (Advanced drug tests can test for synthetic drugs.)

K2 and Spice are responsible for hundreds of overdoses in the US in the past few years. Because no two formulations are the same, it can be hard for doctors to know how to treat users when they get sick.

What Are “Synthetic Pot” Drugs Made Of?

Synthetic drugs like K2 are often called synthetic pot or marijuana, but they don’t come from a plant at all. Formulations of K2 are frequently changing, and all of the active parts of these drugs are made up of chemicals. The chemical formulations vary depending on the distributor, and then they are sprayed onto the organic matter that is usually herbs.

Synthetic marijuana can be anywhere from 50 to 100 times stronger than marijuana. The drug itself Drug manufacturers have found that in addition to the synthetic pot, drugs like PCP and even rat poison have been added to batches of the drug sold on the street.

The earlier versions of K2 and Spice by chemists and scientists for research and gained prominence in 2008. Newer versions come from China and South Asia, are now distributed worldwide.

Additives to synthetic marijuana often cause mass overdoses. Some people have had bleeding organs, seizures, or even died from the effects of the drugs.

Addiction and Spice/K2

Synthetic drugs are addictive, and many users have experienced withdrawal symptoms. Many people who use synthetic marijuana are addicted to other substances as well. No two people’s withdrawal is the same.

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Hi! I’m Melissa Stailey, a freelance writer that loves to cook. I live and work in Washington, DC.