Have you seen the movie Kumar and Harold go to white castle, where in the main characters bust into a hospital to get medical marijuana for smoking pot? There has been growing buzz on synthetic marijuana for a while. It has become a latest trend in the teen parties. More and more youths are using this herb based product, when smoked give users a marijuana-like high, according to drug authorities. This growing popularity of synthetic marijuana has become a concern for health care professionals and law enforcement authorities.
If you have not heard about synthetic marijuana or if you are a user or planning to use it, have a read about the effects of this product.
What is synthetic marijuana?
It is known as K2 or Spice and is composed of a mixture of herbs and chemicals. Researchers revealed that K2’s active ingredients are synthetic cannabinoids that can mimic the narcotic effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, the ingredient in cannabis that gives users a high. It is made in Asian countries and is available online as well as in gas stations, head shops and stores. It can sell for as much as $40 per gram.
What is the major concern for health experts?
K2 is 15 times more powerful than marijuana and leads to a disturbing range of symptoms including heart palpitations, panic attacks, hallucinations, delusions, vomiting, increased agitation and dilated pupils. Nationwide, the American Association of Poison Control Centers logged 567 cases across 41 states, in which people had suffered a bad reaction to K2 during the first half of 2010. Just 13 cases were reported in 2009.
justify;">The interesting part is that product caries the warning, “not for human consumption”. According to Dr. Christopher Rosenbaum, an assistant professor of toxicology at the University of Massachusetts who is studying the effects of K2 in emergency room patients, “It’s not like there’s one K2 distributor — everybody is making their own stuff, calling it K2 and selling it, which is the most unnerving aspect.”
How many states in USA have banned the selling of synthetic marijuana?
Last week, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) became the latest to sign a state ban. Kansas was the first state to outlaw the product, followed by Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. Lawmakers in other states, including Iowa, Michigan, Illinois and Louisiana, are working on bans according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
As Dr. Christopher Rosenbaum mentions that synthetic marijuana is made and sold by no. of companies in their own way, I think this is one of the very important points to be considered by regulatory authorities. Having guidelines to prove the safety and efficacy of the drug before marketing may control the situation.