The Dangers of Spice & Other Forms of Synthetic Marijuana

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Because medical marijuana is not legal at the federal level, many patients still have difficulty accessing the medication. Patients may have an easier time accessing synthetic marijuana, which is typically a mix of plant materials combined with psychoactive man-made chemicals intended to mimic the effects of the phytocannabinoid THC. Patients should be aware that synthetic marijuana does not necessarily produce the same effects as natural cannabis, and it poses a serious and dangerous threat to ones health, including the possibility of death. 

Synthetic forms of marijuana are extremely unpredictable due to the fact the chemical composition is often unknown or changed between batches. The unnatural and habit-forming products can produce a wide range of both physical and psychiatric negative side effects, including heart rate stimulation, blood pressure elevation, anxiety, agitation, confusion, anger, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. At times it can be difficult discerning the difference between natural and synthetic cannabis, but many describe synthetics as having the appearance of herbs and spices wit stem and seed-like substances in it. Synthetics also tend to be harder to break up than natural cannabis and tend to have a noticeably different stench than the natural plant.

Patients should stay clear of the fake substance, and in order to do so, it is helpful to know the source of the product, avoid finely ground product, and analyze its scent. This information has been brought to you by Medical Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.