False advertisements fail to nail real repercussions of synthetic marijuana

08-04-2017 Posted in drug abuse, Drug Addiction, Marijuana

Fake weed, also known as synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs) or synthetic marijuana, is an artificially created psychotropic chemical that primarily aims at enhancing and mimicking the hallucinatory effects of marijuana. Although manufacturers claim that the ingredients of SCBs are natural and extracted from various plants, the only thing natural about SCBs is the dried plant on which a number of chemicals are applied. Reportedly, these chemicals cause some debilitating symptoms once taken into the body.

SCBs are marketed as an herbal incense that can be smoked and as a liquid incense that can be vaporized and inhaled via drug paraphernalia. Though currently sold as a substitute for marijuana, such as K2 or Spice, its effects are far more potent and erratic as the composition or symmetry of ingredients involved is not standardized across all manufacturers.

SCBs is nothing like marijuana

SCBs hail from a class of drugs known as new psychoactive substances (NPS). A 2008 report by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) discovered that SCBs included unregulated substances that were purportedly marketed and abused as the marijuana substitutes.

On the contrary, SCBs are a different group of drugs that are toxic and deadly in severe cases. In addition, the abuse of SCBs leads to detrimental consequences, such as cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and psychiatric sequela, which mandated immediate medical attention. Due to such side effects, many restrictions were implemented to overcome the rising popularity of SCBs among the users abusing substances for self-medication and recreational purposes.

Although SCBs and marijuana follow the same mechanism of triggering psychotropic effects in the brain, the degree of their impact varies greatly. The consumption of SCBs stimulates the CB1 cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and the central nervous system (CNS) to a far greater extent than done by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main ingredient of marijuana. Being different from THC, SCBs activate CB1 and other receptors that cause a range of negative health effects.

SCBs when consumed bind more strongly with the receptors and produce far more powerful effects. Unfortunately, the chemical impact of SCBs keeps altering, sometimes from batch to batch that can cause unaccounted symptoms when consumed. Some of the effects witnessed due to SCBs are:

  • Elevated moods and relaxation
  • Heightened perception
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures and convulsions
  • Catatonia
  • Kidney damage
  • Hypertension and chest pain
  • Ischemic stroke and myocardial toxicity

As SCBs are also popular for bypassing common drug screening processes, this adds to the increased fascination of users and manufacturers toward SCBs, especially teenagers, athletes and military personnel. In addition, it significantly contributes to the mushrooming of the “legal high” market, which is an umbrella term for NPS available in the open market.

By being marketed as an incense or herbal product, such labeling can mislead customers and entice them to use SCBs. Due to the distribution of SCBs through such innovative marketing strategies, it is not possible to purchase SCBs at both a convenience store or online.

Recovery road map

Since individuals rushed to the emergency department of hospitals after encountering the adverse effects of SCBs often report of abusing marijuana, most of the doctors often fail in finding symptoms caused by the consumption marijuana. Consequently, they often fail in determining the correct treatment for people indulging in SCBs.

Even if they are sold as surrogate marijuana products, most experts believe that they do not qualify to be called the substitutes of marijuana due to the deadly impacts that it can cause on the users that can sometimes lead to death. Fortunately, many of the restrictive legislations have banned the sale or distribution of this toxic drug in the United States.

If you or your loved one is involved in drug abuse, it is important to seek professional help. The 24/7 Drug Addiction Helpline assists in accessing the finest drug addiction helpline that specializes in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call us at our 24/7 drug abuse helpline number 866-403-5607 or chat online with our medical representatives to know more about the evidence-based treatment programs.

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