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Synthetic Marijuana Usage Alarms American Pediatricians

SpiceSynthetic marijuana, also known as spice, blaze, or K2, is commonly consumed by adolescents and young adults. Many have even been sent to the emergency room for experiencing toxicity. A growing problem, synthetic marijuana is not even what it claims to be.

Made in illegal laboratories and sold in convenience stores and smoke shops throughout the country, synthetic marijuana poisoning was responsible for 4,500 calls to Poison Control Centers from 2010 to 2011.[1] While the substance produces the euphoric and psychoactive effects similar to marijuana that users desire, it secretly contains various other substances that are much more dangerous. Users who experienced poisoning suffered the following symptoms: restlessness, agitation, catatonia, extreme aggression, diaphoresis, and the inability to speak.1 While makers of the illegal substance state that its effects are short-lived, health care professionals are becoming increasingly concerned about the long-term effects of synthetic cannabis usage.

Makers of the synthetic drug state that it consists of a mixture of herbs; however, laboratory testing in the United States and Germany have found otherwise.1 Scientists found large quantities of synthetic tocopherol present, an ingredient not listed on the package.1 Also, in 2008 German scientists found the plant ingredients to be “unclear” and the source of the synthetic tocopherol to be unknown.1 In fact, they concluded that the euphoric and psychoactive effects were not a product of their plant ingredients. It is unknown what exactly makes up this synthetic substance, but what is known is that the chemical added to the plants are what produces toxicity in humans.1



[1] Christian Nordqvist. (2012, March 20). “Synthetic Marijuana Usage Alarms American Pediatricians.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/243134.php.

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