Synthetic Cannabis

Synthetic Cannabis/Spice

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    Synthetic cannabis is a new psychoactive substance that was originally designed to mimic or produce similar effects to cannabis and has been sold online since 2004. However, some of the newer substances claiming to be synthetic cannabis do not actually mimic the effects of THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in cannabis). Reports suggest it also produces additional negative effects.

    These powdered chemicals are mixed with solvents and added to herbs and sold in colourful, branded packets. The chemicals usually vary from batch to batch as manufacturers try to stay ahead of the law, so different packets can produce different effects even if the name and branding on the package looks the same.

  • Common Names

    Synthetic cannabis is marketed under different brand names.

    Spice was the earliest in a series of synthetic cannabis products sold in many European countries. Since then a number of similar products have been developed, such as Kronic, Northern Lights, Mojo, Lightning Gold, Blue Lotus and Godfather. Synthetic cannabis is also marketed as aphrodisiac tea, herbal incense and potpourri.

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    How is it used?

     

    It’s most commonly smoked and is sometimes drunk as a tea.

Side Effects of Spice

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    There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries risk.

    Synthetic cannabis affects everyone differently, based on:

    • Size, weight and health
    • Whether the person is used to taking it
    • Whether other drugs are taken around the same time
    • The amount taken
    • The chemical that is used and its strength (varies from batch to batch)

    Synthetic cannabis is relatively new, so there is limited information available about its short- and long-term effects, including how safe or unsafe it is to use.

    Copied
    There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries risk.

    Synthetic cannabis affects everyone differently, based on:

    • Size, weight and health
    • Whether the person is used to taking it
    • Whether other drugs are taken around the same time
    • The amount taken
    • The chemical that is used and its strength (varies from batch to batch)

    Synthetic cannabis is relatively new, so there is limited information available about its short- and long-term effects, including how safe or unsafe it is to use.

  • It has been reported to have similar effects to cannabis along with some additional negative and potentially more harmful ones including:

    Fast and irregular heartbeat

    Racing thoughts

    Agitation, anxiety and paranoia

    Psychosis

    Aggressive and violent behaviour

    Chest pain

    Vomiting

    Acute kidney injury

    Seizures

    Stroke

    Death

    Copied
    It has been reported to have similar effects to cannabis along with some additional negative and potentially more harmful ones including:

    Fast and irregular heartbeat

    Racing thoughts

    Agitation, anxiety and paranoia

    Psychosis

    Aggressive and violent behaviour

    Chest pain

    Vomiting

    Acute kidney injury

    Seizures

    Stroke

    Death

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    Long-term effects:

    There has been limited research into synthetic cannabis dependence. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that long term, regular use can cause tolerance and dependence. Giving up synthetic cannabis after using it for a long time is challenging because the body has to get used to functioning without it.

    It has been reported that some people who use synthetic cannabis heavily on a regular basis may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop, including:

    Insomnia

    Paranoia

    Panic attacks

    Agitation and irritability

    Anxiety

    Mood swings

    Rapid heartbeat

    Copied
    Long-term effects:

    There has been limited research into synthetic cannabis dependence. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that long term, regular use can cause tolerance and dependence. Giving up synthetic cannabis after using it for a long time is challenging because the body has to get used to functioning without it.

    It has been reported that some people who use synthetic cannabis heavily on a regular basis may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop, including:

    Insomnia

    Paranoia

    Panic attacks

    Agitation and irritability

    Anxiety

    Mood swings

    Rapid heartbeat

Why is Spice dangerous?

The effects of taking Spice with other drugs including over-the-counter or prescribed medications can be unpredictable and dangerous.