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Also known as spice or K2, synthetic marijuana is made when chemicals are sprayed onto herbs that resemble marijuana’s look and texture (think dried oregano or basil). The chemicals can also be vaporized, and aim to replicate THC. In other words, there is no way in hell this stuff came from marijuana seeds.

 

Fake weed is scary

Its effects are profoundly intense for the user, with potency reaching upwards of a hundred times that of traditional cannabis. Some clinical studies have concluded that the effects mimic psychosis, a complete break with reality and personal identity. In 2013, hospitals noted an increase in the number of patients seeking emergency treatment after ingesting synthetic marijuana, and three deaths have been linked to the product in Colorado. Although the federal government banned synthetic cannabis in 2012, it is still widely available in convenience stores, head shops, and online. Manufacturers tweak the chemicals used in its creation to get around laws that define the drug based on its ingredients, thereby making the federal definitions inapplicable. Because of this, the list of ingredients used to make synthetic cannabis are also inconsistent. The DEA formally recognizes five compounds frequently used to replicate the effects of THC, but the product is often marketed as a having natural properties despite being chemically-based. Packaging cites flowery ingredients like the Blue Egyptian water lily, despite maintaining a shelf price of roughly $15 per gram.

Smoke real cannabis instead

The combination of these chemicals, in addition to the other ingredients, make it hard to determine what effects a person may or may not experience. Websites selling the product cite as many as 85 possible chemical combinations. This creates a product that is inexpensive, widely accessible, and without age restrictions. It also is not detectable in drug tests, since the high does not actually come from THC. If you live in Denver, there is absolutely no reason to smoke this garbage when there are world-class weed strains to choose from at your local dispensary. Synthetic marijuana is like the Tinder date who only sort of looks like his profile picture, will probably make you sick, and is a cheap alternative to real love.

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