For over a decade, K2 (commonly known as spice) has been used as a substitute for marijuana. Sold under street names such as Scooby Snax and Kronic, K2 provides an intense but pleasurable high that mimics pot. While many users claim the drug is harmless due to its “legal” status, they are unaware of the dangers of K2 side effects. This article will further explore what K2 is, what is does to the brain and body, as well as the side effects of K2.
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 are part of a group of substances called synthetic (or man-made) cannabinoids. K2 is comprised of plant matter that is sprayed with mind-altering chemicals. Originally produced solely for research purchases, the directions and formulas used to make synthetic cannabinoids were procured by drug manufacturers who worked in clandestine labs and made these substances for purchase on the street.
There are a variety of ways people can use spice. The most common way people use K2 is to roll the dried plant matter into cigarette form or put them into pipes and smoke the drug. K2 is also sold in liquid form and can be used in e-cigarette mixtures or other devices. Additionally, some users people add spice to tea or their food.
Much like marijuana, K2 produces profound relaxation and euphoria. People who use the drug also say that gain a sense of heightened awareness their environment. Since synthetic cannabinoids like K2 can be 100 times more potent than marijuana, the high they feel is more intense. Moreover, the side effects of K2 are more intense.
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.
K2 Side Effects
With marijuana becoming legal in more states and the increasingly changing point of view regarding the drug, man-made drugs such as K2 often are looked at in the same manner. As already stated, people who use K2 deem the drug safe because it’s legal. Those thoughts are misinformed—and can prove to be. It is important to understand that the mixture of chemicals found in K2 are not standardized and can be seen as a “mixed bag”.
Because of that, K2 side effects are dangerous and can be life-threatening. The most common K2 side effects noted include the following:
- Racing heart
- Agitation and anxiety
- Increased paranoia
- Audio and tactile hallucinations
- High blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms can even be more pronounced if other drugs are being abused along with K2. This is also true if users are dealing with underlying health conditions. For those who are looking to quit the drug, K2 withdrawal symptoms can include the following:
- Difficulty concentrating
- The onset of anxiety and depression
- Nausea and vomiting
- Intense cravings
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.
Addicted to Spice? Hawaii Island Recovery Can Help You!
The side effects of K2 use have severe impacts on your health and life. If you are addicted to this potent drug, Hawaii Island Recovery can help you break the vicious cycle of addiction. We offer effective medical detox services as well as a wide range of therapy, treatments and other resources that you give you the tools you need to succeed.