Synthetic marijuana, which is also known by a variety of street names including Spice, Black Mamba, and Fake Weed, is a chemically modified version of the kinds of herbal marijuana available to medical patients, or through the black market.
This potent variant has been popping up all over the world, and can generally be found in head shops, gas stations, and marketed on the internet as herbal incense. Because of loose regulations around the production and distribution of the drug, the substance can be sold as a non-consumable item and generally bears a label which states that the product is not for human consumption. Because it is not supposed to be ingested or smoked, using it in this way is considered abuse.
Spice is being marketed to teenagers and young adults as a safer alternative to street drugs and regular marijuana, and many people purchase and begin using it because they believe that because it it sold legally, that they will not face any legal ramifications.
How can you tell if a product is synthetic marijuana?
Because of issues surrounding production, labeling, and distribution, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if a product being sold is, in fact, the drug. Many distributors sell it under the guise of selling ‘potpourri’, but the drug also goes by a variety of other names, as well.
Some of these names include:
- Moon Rocks
- Yucatan Fire
- Herbal Incense
- Cloud 9
What are signs of abuse?
The effects are similar to that of regular marijuana, which can include feeling relaxed, at ease, and experiencing an altered perception of reality. However, because of the loose regulation around the production, and the inconsistency of the products from batch to batch, it can be difficult to tell what users are ingesting with each specific dose.
Some common side effects include:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney damage
- Cold sweats
- Rapid heart rate
How can you tell if someone is addicted to synthetic cannabis?
If you’re a regular user, or know someone whom you fear may be battling an addiction, check the list below to see if any of the following behaviors sound familiar:
- Excessive time and effort spent to acquire the drug
- Intense cravings to use again
- Continued use despite bad experiences
- Persistent psychological or physical issues due to continued use
- Deteriorating relationships due to use
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using
- Loss of interest in other activities
- Continued and excessive absence from work
Are there treatment options for synthetic marijuana addiction?
Due to the aggressive withdrawal symptoms it is extremely easy to become addicted, and for drug use to begin to overshadow everything else in the user’s life. Dealing with issues such as feeling depressed and anxious, nausea, diarrhea, cravings, and uncontrollable mood swings can be difficult, which leads to a high frequency of relapse in users who try to quit cold turkey.
Like all addictive substances, the best way to ensure a complete recovery is to check into a synthetic marijuana rehab facility or treatment center, where trained professionals can assist with a healthy and sustainable recovery process.