Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made chemicals that mimic the effects of the natural cannabinoids found in cannabis. You can think of them like artificial, lab-synthesized versions of the cannabinoids found in nature. Scientists create them in labs for different purposes, like medical research or making drugs. However, they’re very popular in states that don’t have legal or decriminalized cannabis yet. Normally, these compounds are not synthesized from cannabinoids like CBD found in hemp plants; instead, they are created entirely through chemical processes. However, there is a loophole under the 2018 US Farm Bill that makes some naturally-derived cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC legal, as long as they are derived from hemp. However, it’s still up for debate whether synthetic cannabinoids are safe in the long term. Sometimes, these synthetic cannabinoids end up in products sold as "fake weed" or "spice." They can be much stronger and potentially more dangerous than real cannabis, with unpredictable effects and risks. That said, we recommend sticking to the real stuff! Some examples of synthetic cannabinoids include JWH-018, AM-2201, and UR-144.

What is "spice" and why is it dangerous?

“Spice,” also known as K2 or fake weed, refers to a range of synthetic cannabinoids that are sprayed onto plant material and sold as a legal alternative to cannabis. You can think of it as what might happen if Frankenstein and weed had a baby – it’s a lab-created, artificial version designed to mimic the effects of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. However, “spice” is much more dangerous because the chemical compounds used are often much stronger and can have unpredictable and severe side effects. Users have reported symptoms such as rapid heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, and even life-threatening conditions like kidney damage and seizures. Unlike natural cannabis, the safety and consistency of “spice” are not regulated, making it highly risky to consume.

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