Published on: 07/10/2022
Everything you should know about synthetic cannabinoids
If you’re curious about the world of cannabis, chances are you’ve come across articles mentioning synthetic marijuana in between news stories. At the time, you may not have wanted to look into the subject, but now you want to know what it is and whether it is as harmful as they say.
In the following lines, we will clarify what synthetic cannabinoids are, how they originated, and their effects on the body.
What synthetic cannabinoids look like
Synthetic marijuana is a product that rightfully belongs to the category of synthetic cannabinoids. In case you did not know, cannabinoids are the substances present in the chemical composition of cannabis (the main ones being THC and CBD). Their synthesis in the laboratory has resulted in artificial compounds that emulate their effects and can be taken in various ways.
But what do they look like? How can one recognize them?
In the laboratory, synthetic cannabinoids are created as liquid compounds for various types of use: they can be inhaled in gaseous form with a vaporizer or vaped with an electronic cigarette. However, they can also be mixed with plant material, e.g. mixes of lemon balm leaves, thyme, and mint. This is how synthetic marijuana is born, a product that resembles natural cannabis not only in appearance, taste, and smell but also in its effects when smoked.
Products such as Spice, K2 and Black Mamba have been very popular with cannabis enthusiasts, especially the younger ones, and for a time were sold freely even though their consumption generated a body reaction similar to that of high-THC cannabinoids (i.e. narcotics). Before you understand why synthetic cannabinoids were banned, however, it is only fair that you know how they came about.
How synthetic marijuana came about
The idea of synthesizing cannabinoids in the laboratory originated for anything but harmful purposes. In 2004, a team of American scientists led by John Huffman began to carry out studies on the functioning of endogenous cannabinoids, i.e. those produced by the body. To gain new insights into the effects of these substances on the body, the scientists created synthetic compounds whose cannabinoid-like properties in cannabis interacted with the human endocannabinoid system.
None of them, however, imagined that, as a result of their discoveries, someone would use the same method to produce substances to bring to market to disseminate a new drug. Yet, this happened a few years later, precisely in 2008, when the synthetic marijuana Spice was produced in some clandestine laboratories.
Legally speaking, by the way, these substances were not banned at first because they were sold as room perfumers. Only after several cases of intoxication and severe side effects did the US government and other countries prohibit Spice.
But what reactions can synthetic cannabinoids cause? You will find out in the next paragraph.
Synthetic cannabinoids and their effects: a health hazard
When synthesized in the laboratory, no one but the manufacturer can inform a potential consumer about their chemical composition. The result is that people intrigued by the marijuana-like effect risk suffering unpredictable harm.
Furthermore, it appears that synthetic cannabinoid molecules created in the laboratory bind differently with the receptors of the human endocannabinoid system than CBD and THC present in cannabis. To put it more plainly, they interact more strongly with CB1 receptors, giving rise to invasive effects such as paranoia, hallucinations, tachycardia, altered sensations or extreme relaxation.
A psychophysical state altered by such reactions can pose a danger not only to the individual taking the synthetic marijuana but also to those around him (think, for instance, of the consequences of a hallucination or a stroke while driving a vehicle). But beyond these effects, it is possible for even more severe reactions to synthetic substances to occur: among the side effects encountered following the inhalation of smoke or vapours of laboratory-created cannabinoids.
- severe liver damage;
- poor blood flow to the heart;
- high blood pressure.
Of course, since the substances used to create new synthetic cannabinoids vary, other types of damage to the body cannot be ruled out. Still, to understand the danger of their use, it is enough to know that synthetic cannabinoids can even lead to death in some extreme cases.
Read also: Is cannabis legal in Jamaica? Yes, but for less time than you think
If you had little knowledge of synthetic marijuana before reading this article, you now have all the information you need to understand that it is best to stay away from it. Instead, if you want to cultivate your passion for cannabis healthily and constructively, you can turn to collect light hemp inflorescences and marijuana seeds.
At SensorySeeds, you have a wide selection of seeds of different genetics to enrich your collection (autoflowering, feminized and fast flowering). Come visit us!