Last updated: March 30, 2020
Synthetic marijuana is a manufactured version of cannabis that was sold legally under many different names. It contains dried plant material and chemicals additives to induce a mind altering high. Many young people wanted to use synthetic marijuana because it is not detectable in standard drug tests. This drug can affect the body in several ways although there is no way to know long term damage at the present time. Some of the side affects of this drug include physical, mental, and behavioral problems. In recent years, more information has surfaced about these problems, and the list continues to grow as people still attempt to use it illegally.
This drug is supposed to be similar to regular marijuana with its affects, but just by the physical side affects, one can see that they are very different. Some of the physical problems associated with synthetic marijuana consist of rigidity, seizures, numbness, tingling, uncontrollable sweating, temporary paralysis, muscle spasms, bloodshot eyes, and tremors. These are outward physical signs that can be seen; however, spice also causes internal physical problems as well. It can cause rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, nausea, and vomiting. It has even been linked to heart attacks. In addition, it has been linked to kidney damage, brain damage, and strokes. Physical side affects are just one aspect of synthetic marijuana abuse.
Synthetic marijuana is also known to produce intense mental side affects. While normal marijuana will also produce these side affects, synthetic marijuana users experience these more acutely. These side affects comprise of anxiety or panic attacks, extreme hallucinations, psychotic episodes, paranoia, elevated moods, addiction, suicidal thoughts, severe depression, and delusions. The main problem with this drug is that there is now way to trace the amount of chemicals in each batch. One user might experience little to no high while another user could be launched into a state of extreme psychosis or even die.
Another sign that someone may be using synthetic marijuana is behavior. Many users of spice suffer from high levels of aggression, agitation, manic rage, laughing, and disorientation. There are also long term behavioral effects that include changes in social circles and academic performance; loss of interest in friends, relationships, and extracurricular activities; and changes in levels of energy, grooming habits, and attitude toward life. Most people using spice, as with any users of other drugs, lose interest in just about every aspect of his or her life.
There have been no studies done on humans using synthetic marijuana, but the effects of this drug can be seen in hospitalization records. Spice affects the body in physical, mental, and behavioral ways, and while it was once legally bought in incense shops and gas stations, law enforcement has now made it an illegal substance due to the rising number of problems associated with synthetic marijuana. This drug is extremely dangerous and has been known to cause death in certain instances. It is very important that if someone is suspected of using spice medical attention is sought.