Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2/Spice)
What is it?
Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as K2 or “Spice,” are a mixture of herbs and spices that are typically sprayed with synthetic compounds chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The chemical compounds typically include HU-210, HU-211, JWH-018, and JWH-073. K2 is commonly purchased in head shops, tobacco shops, various retail outlets, and over the Internet. It is often marketed as incense or “fake weed.” Purchasing over the Internet can be dangerous, because it is not usually known where the product comes from or what amount of chemical is on the organic material.
What does it look like?
K2 is typically sold in small, silvery plastic bags of dried leaves and marketed as incense that can be smoked. It is said to resemble potpourri.
What are some other names for it?
In addition to Spice and K2, synthetic cannabinoids are sometimes called Bliss, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Fake Weed, Genie, and Zohai.
How is it used?
K2 products are usually smoked in joints or pipes, but some users make it into a tea. Vaping is a fast-growing trend, allowing users to use a liquid form of synthetic marijuana. One main reason for the increase of vaping is the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, vape pens, and hookah pens.
What are the effects of the drug?
Physiological effects of K2 include increased heart rate and increased blood pressure. The drug appears to be stored in the body for long periods of time; therefore, the long-term effects on humans are not fully known. Many people also experience vomiting and violent behavior. Other potential effects include altered perception, an elevated mood, relaxation, and psychosis.
Psychotic effects include anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations. These psychotic effects often lead individuals to have suicidal thoughts.
What is its federal classification?
Synthetic cannabinoids are Schedule 1 drugs.