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What is Synthetic Weed and Why is it Dangerous?

What is Synthetic Weed and Why is it Dangerous?

Perhaps you’ve heard of it—Spice, K2, Scooby Snacks, Mamba, Legal Weed or any one of several hundred other street names—the designer drug synthetic marijuana is far more powerful and much more dangerous than traditional weed.

The real danger is that you cannot know what you’re smoking. Synthetic weed is made in a laboratory. Its creators are constantly changing the compounds to skirt laws prohibiting certain types and to broaden its marketability. Depending on what has gone into a compound, some forms are exponentially more powerful than the plant-grown variety of marijuana.

Synthetic Marijuana

Synthetic marijuana is often cleverly marketed as potpourri or incense and is often labeled “not for human consumption.” The drug is easily accessible, sold in smoke shops, gas stations, convenience stores and over the Internet.

Is it really marijuana? Yes and no. It is a cannabinoid and it mimics the attributes and effects of THC, the ingredient in marijuana which causes a person to “get high.” But it is essentially a chemical concoction—there’s nothing natural about its makeup.

Manufacturers of this designer drug claim that their product contains a mixture of traditional medicinal herbs. Some of the herbs listed on their products are blue Egyptian water lily, dwarf skullcap, coastal jack-bean, lion’s tail, Indian warrior, lotus, honey weed, and more.

Synthetic marijuana that has been seized by law enforcement in the U.S. has been identified as containing stimulant drugs, novel cannabinoids, psychedelic tryptamine derivatives and a designer opioid drug used in smoking blends. Synthetic marijuana seized in New Zealand was found to contain benzodiazepines and sedative-hypnotic drugs.

Negative Effects of Use

Synthetic marijuana produces a wide variety of effects depending on what has gone into the drug. The most common adverse effects include—

  • psychosis
  • altered perception
  • extreme anxiety
  • confusion
  • scrambled thoughts
  • delusions
  • mood elevation
  • hypertension
  • increased heart rate
  • panic attacks
  • hallucinations
  • paranoia
  • heart attacks

Several types of synthetic marijuana contain compounds that bind to the cell receptors in the brain. This action is similar to that of the THC compound found in natural cannabis and it produces a more intense effect on the user.

This is vitally important to understand: There are no safe strains of synthetic weed.

Perhaps the accessibility has contributed to a significant upturn in the numbers of teenagers and young adults visiting hospital emergency rooms for treatment of adverse reactions from using this designer drug. The dangerous effects of synthetic marijuana on the body and brain of the user is alarming and its long-term effects are not known. It is feared that its use may cause lasting damage, both physical and psychological.

They’re all harmful. Some are extremely dangerous and even deadly.


Designer drugs like synthetic marijuana are made specifically to be abused. Like many other illegal drugs, synthetic marijuana is not tested for safety. Users don’t really know exactly what chemicals they are putting into their bodies. If you use, you’re playing with fire.

At Honey Lake Clinic, we believe faith-based treatment, encompassing your spiritual, physical and mental health, will provide you with the long-lasting tools and knowledge you need to make changes in your life and health.

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