Everything You Need to Know About K2 or Spice
Maybe you’ve heard rumors about K2 or spice, like “It’s a fake version of pot, and the herbs used are totally safe,” or “It’s a legal alternative to pot.” These myths aren’t only false – they’re dangerous.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about synthetic marijuana, commonly known as K2 or spice.
What Is K2/Spice?
K2 and spice are common names for synthetic marijuana. K2 looks like regular marijuana or herbal tobacco, as it’s made from herbs and plants that are dried and chopped up.
Some people believe that herbs are “natural” and therefore safe to ingest. However, this just isn’t true. There are plenty of herbs that are toxic to humans, and since there are no regulations on synthetic marijuana production—which mostly happens overseas—users have no way of knowing what they’re consuming.
The active ingredient isn’t found in the herbs themselves but in synthetic chemicals (cannabinoids) sprayed onto the dried, chopped herbs. While some spice users may report a similar experience to that of smoking traditional marijuana, these drugs are completely different.
Marijuana’s effects on your brain and body are due to one particular chemical known as THC. On the other hand, there are many different synthetic cannabinoids that can be used in K2. Those chemicals can be a hundred times stronger than THC and interact with your brain receptors differently.
Is Synthetic Marijuana Safe?
Synthetic marijuana is not at all safe to use. Even if you’ve used traditional or synthetic marijuana in the past without experiencing negative side effects, your very next use could be a disaster. The production of synthetic marijuana isn’t regulated in any way, so it’s impossible to know which herbs or chemicals you’re being exposed to.
Some of the potential side effects are similar to those produced by marijuana and explain why many users are drawn to this drug: relaxation, elevated mood, and an altered awareness of your environment.
However, you could also experience frightening psychotic side effects, including confusion, anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. Many users experience seizures—even after their first time trying spice. Other dangerous side effects can include increased heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, and kidney damage. Use of synthetic marijuana can even lead to death.
Is Synthetic Marijuana Legal in the US?
Synthetic marijuana can be made using hundreds of different chemicals. Some have already been outlawed while legislators are still working to regulate and ban others. In general, it’s best to assume that the K2 or spice in front of you is not legal in the US.
“Under federal law, it is illegal to possess, sell, and distribute synthetic cannabis. If you are charged with federal drug charges, you may face significant jail time, large fines, and mandatory minimum sentencing. And, unlike naturally cultivated marijuana, all 50 states ban some or all forms of synthetic cannabis.
Under state law, you may face felony charges for the sale, distribution, manufacturing, possession, or use of synthetic cannabis.”
Is K2/Spice Addictive?
Yes, synthetic marijuana is addictive. The idea that K2 or spice isn’t addictive is one of the most dangerous myths of all. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that regular users trying to quit synthetic marijuana often experience withdrawal symptoms including headaches, anxiety, depression, or irritability.
If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms from synthetic marijuana, contact us today to learn more about how a medically-supervised detox can help you.
What Should I Do If I’m Addicted to K2 or Spice?
If you or someone you know is addicted to K2 or spice, please contact us today at 877-721-3556. Our intake specialists are ready and available to guide you through the best next steps for you or your loved one.