Synthetic Pot: also known as: Aroma, Bad-to-the-Bone, Black Mamba, Blaze, Berry Blend, Bliss, Blueberry Haze, Bombay Blue, Dank, Dark Night, Demon Passion Smoke, Earthquake, Fire ‘n Ice, G-Force, Genie, Hawaiian Hybrid, K2 Blonde, K2 Standard, K2 Summit, Magma, Ninja, Ono Budz, Panama Red Ball, PEP Spice, Puff, Skunk, Sativah Herbal Smoke, Solar Flare, Spice, Spice Diamond, Spice Gold, The Moon, Ultra Chronic, Vodoo Spice, Yucatan Fire, Zombie World
What is K2?
Synthetic pot, more commonly known as K2 Spice, is a mixture of spices and herbs that have been treated with a synthetic cannabis. The active ingredient in K2 Spice is JWH-014 (1-penthl=3=(1-naphtholyl)indole), also known as JWH-108. K2 Spice looks like potpourri and it costs about $10 a gram. This new synthetic pot is sold in head shops and online for $30 to $40 per pack.
K2 Spice is produced mainly in China and Korea. It is similar to the popular brand name “Spice”. It is sold in smoke shops in Europe, Canada and other parts of the world. All variations of K2 are labeled “Not For Human Consumption.”
The popular belief among people who use any variation of K2 is that it is safe and non-toxic. But studies have identified serious toxicities that occur with K2 use. The chemicals synthesized for the production of K2 may have more dangerous side effects.
How Does K2 Work?
This new synthetic pot is used in pretty much the same way as marijuana is used. It can be smoked alone in a joint or other devices, such as a pipe or a bong, or rolled into a joint with tobacco, natural marijuana, or cocaine. K2 can also be baked into foods, such as brownies, or made into tea.
Across the board, K2 users say their experiences with the drug are very similar to those produced by marijuana. These experiences include altered perception, a relaxed feeling, and elevated mood. Some K2 users report experiencing extreme paranoia, anxiety, and hallucinations.
The compounds found in synthetic pot act on the same cell receptors as those affected by the THC in marijuana. However, some of the compounds in K2 bind more strongly to THC receptors than the THC in marijuana. Synthetic pot can lead to a more powerful, unpredictable or dangerous effect.
Parental Concerns Over Synthetic Pot
Because of the marijuana-type high K2 has given marijuana smokers another reason to smile. It is legal to possess and purchase throughout most of the U.S. But what makes the drug so feared and hated among parents and law enforcement agencies? JWH compounds are believed to multiply the negative effects of marijuana up to five times. Since the effects of synthetic pot are more potent than marijuana, the drug is getting the attention of school officials and substance abuse treatment providers.
One reason for concern is there is no age limit on purchasing K2 because it is not intended for consumption. This means that K2 is being purchased by teenagers as well as long time drug users. Another reason for the concern is that K2 does not show up on drug tests, which makes it an attractive alternative for anyone who smokes marijuana.
But the biggest concern is, no one actually knows a whole lot about K2. Parents are especially bothered by this fact.
Hazards Associated With Using Synthetic Pot
A study conducted by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that there were 11,400 emergency room visits due to K2 use in 2010. A great number of K2 users have been taken to Poison Control Centers. They were treated for complications that include vomiting, rapid heart rate, profuse sweating, agitation, hallucinations, and confusion. In some cases, K2 has been associated with heart attacks.
No one knows the long-term effects of using K2. There have been reports that suggest that some synthetic pot products may contain heavy metal residues that could lead to health problems. Other reports claim synthetic pot is addicting in some people. Some users may experience withdrawal symptoms.