Synthetic cannabinoids: what they are and what effects they have on humans

What are synthetic cannabinoids and their effects

Modified on: 21/09/2022

Everything you need to know about artificial turf and the risks of taking it

If you follow the world of cannabis with interest, you have probably heard of synthetic cannabinoids or read that they are almost the same as natural ones. But, to be honest, falling into this trap is equivalent to putting one’s health at serious risk because these substances hide pitfalls.

In the following few lines, you will find out what synthetic cannabinoids are, their effects on the human body, and whether their sale is legal.

What are synthetic cannabinoids

What are synthetic cannabinoids?

When we speak of synthetic cannabinoids, we refer to a chemical product characterized by its similarity to the active ingredients found in cannabis. Generally, these artificial compounds are in the form of liquids that can be taken via a vaporizer, an electronic cigarette or (much more often) sprayed onto plant material, e.g. dried lemon balm, thyme and mint leaves, and smoked.

Functionally, these chemicals interact with the receptors of the human endocannabinoid system in the same way as THC and CBD, the essential active ingredients of the cannabis plant. Because of these characteristics, synthetic cannabinoids have gained particular popularity. As a result, many people (especially young people) have started to buy them both in liquid form and as a compound to be smoked.

Beware, however: synthetic weed, while giving similar effects to cannabis, acts much more powerfully than it on receptors in the brain. If you are wondering about the true nature of this product, read on because, in the next section, we will analyze its effects and contraindications.

Read also: The human endocannabinoid system: what it is and how it works (explained)

The effects of synthetic cannabinoids

Synthetic molecules establish a much stronger binding to the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system than hemp derivatives and, hence, THC and CBD. Consequently, the effects to which their intake gives rise may also be more potent. Among these, we can identify:

  • relaxation;
  • mood swings;
  • altered perceptions;
  • anxiety;
  • paranoia;
  • hallucinations;
  • increased heart rate;
  • vomiting.

Of course, these mostly adverse effects can turn an experience that should be recreational (at least in the intentions of those who decide to take synthetic cannabinoids) into a traumatic event. The most painful thing is that in most cases, the chemical composition of these products varies according to the manufacturer, and it is impossible to predict the possible harm they may cause.

However, you must first understand that these compounds are unsuitable for human consumption.

There is no shortage of cases of intoxication from synthetic cannabinoids, and severe side effects include convulsions, high blood pressure, decreased blood flow to the heart and liver damage. In addition, synthetic molecules of this type can be addictive, and symptoms such as depression, anxiety and headache can occur if the intake is interrupted.

Synthetic grass

Are the sale and consumption of synthetic cannabinoids legal?

These products were sold mainly as room perfumers when they began to circulate. However, due to the misconception about their supposed natural origin, many people started to buy them and take them as a substitute for marijuana because they were sold legally.

In the USA (and Italy), among the synthetic cannabinoids most sold by smokers’ shops and online shops were products with names such as Spice, K2, Clockwork Orange and Black Mamba, to name a few. However, following several cases in which the intake of synthetic cannabinoids caused harm to people, the Italian government banned the production, import and sale (also online) of the synthetic molecules in 2010.

However, since new chemicals of this type are constantly being brought onto the market, it is possible to buy them until they are regulated and banned. This, of course, poses a danger for those who are unaware of the potential negative implications and the severe damage they can cause.

Read also: Heat stress in hemp: how to recognise the problem and how to solve it

In conclusion

Synthetic cannabinoids, as opposed to plant derivatives born from cannabis seeds, can have lethal effects on humans; the absorption of chemical molecules whose composition is unknown can trigger unpredictable reactions and even cause death. Therefore, we advise you to avoid such products, which, despite their vaunted resemblance to natural cannabinoids, have a decidedly negative impact on the body.

If you are interested in the world of cannabis (the real thing), know that at Sensoryseeds, you can buymarijuana seeds of different varieties: from autoflowering seeds to feminized or fast growing weed seeds, there’s something for any taste! However, since the cultivation of this plant is prohibited by law in Italy (except for those with a regular licence), you can only do so for collecting purposes.