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Synthetic Marijuana: The Danger of the Unknown

Hands drug spice synthetic marijuana“What you don’t know can’t hurt you” is a phrase we often hear. But just because it’s a common phrase doesn’t make it a correct one. In the case of drugs and alcohol, what we don’t know can actually hurt us quite a bit.

While there are several examples of these unknown dangers, one of the most prominent is synthetic marijuana. This drug is also known as Spice, K2, Black Mamba, Krush, Joker, Blaze, and Nitro, among many other brand names. Since is made of plant materials sprayed with chemicals, synthetic marijuana may look somewhat like marijuana, a naturally grown plant.

But the similarities seem to end there. Using natural marijuana typically produces certain effects, including

  • Hunger (the munchies)
  • Red eyes
  • Relaxation
  • Clumsiness
  • Mood changes
  • Lowered ability to feel pain
  • Distorted perceptions of time
  • Intensified sensations

People who have used synthetic marijuana say the drug produces similar effects. Others, like the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), say that synthetic marijuana creates more dangerous effects, including

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Anxiety, agitation
  • High blood pressure
  • Shaking, even seizures
  • Hallucinations, paranoia
  • Violent behavior

It’s hard to state the effects of synthetic marijuana with 100 percent certainty. That’s partly because it’s hard to say with 100 percent certain just what synthetic marijuana is.

Many forms of synthetic marijuana are illegal, so its manufacturers don’t openly promote themselves or the ingredients of their products. The manufacturers may also switch to using different ingredients if certain ingredients are illegal or hard to obtain.

And, as we said, synthetic marijuana goes by different brand names. Different brands could have different ingredients and different levels of potency, so buyers may not know what they’re buying or how it will affect them.

If people who use synthetic marijuana overdose or suffer other ill effects from such substances, medical professionals could find it difficult to treat such patients, making dangerous situations even more dangerous. That’s even if the patients tell the professionals in the first place, because they might be reluctant to admit that they are using illegal substances.

So, doctors may not know what patients are taking or how to treat them. The people themselves might not be 100 percent sure of what they’re using, or they might think that they’re using one thing when they’re really using another. Synthetic marijuana involves a lot of unknowns, and that ignorance is definitely not bliss.