This time about Spice or fake weed. AKA: K2, yucatan fire, Bombay blue, bliss, genie, zohai, moon rocks, skunk… All common names for Synthetic Cannabinoids.
MYTH: Spice is natural and therefore safe and pure.
STRAIGHT DOPE: Spice is a mix of different herbs put together specifically to give you the effects of marijuana – especially the sensation of relaxation and altered perception. Each mix is different. There are chemicals often mixed in. Or man-made pot-like chemicals are sprayed onto leaves and herbs and sold as spice, or any of the other colorful names we mentioned….
MYTH: Spice is legal
STRAIGHT DOPE: Nope, it’s not. Buying, selling, and having synthetic cannabinoids is not legal. But sellers try to put together new combinations of herbs and chemicals to try to stay “legal” so you might see stuff still for sale in stores or on-line.
MYTH: Fake weed only has good effects, and is milder than the real deal.
STRAIGHT DOPE: Actually, fake weed attaches to the parts of the nerve cells that pot or cannabinoids do, and has a stronger effect. And on top of that there are plenty of bad effects: increased blood pressure and heart rate. Barfing. Agitation. Hallucinations. Seizures. Passing out. Paranoia. Teens have been see in ER’s with HEART ATTACKS! Yes, you read that right. Teens and heart attacks in the same sentence.
MYTH: OK, so kids go to the ER, but not that many.
STRAIGHT DOPE: 75% of visits to the ER caused by Spice are in people in their teens and twenties. The highest rate of ER visits is actually in the 12 – 17 group. And another interesting point – most people that go to the ER because of bad drug effects have more than one drug in their system. BUT with Spice…. Most visits caused by bad and dangerous symptoms actually were in kids who only were taking Spice. That gives you an idea of how it can mess you up and how bad it can make you feel.
MYTH: OK, I can find everything I need to know about fake weed on the web… and make my own decisions.
STRAIGHT DOPE: Good move to educate yourself before making decisions that can change the course of your life. But, with Spice, there is a lot that is not known about it. And the mix is always changing as dealers / sellers try to keep it different than the versions that are officially illegal. So, as the NIDA blog says, “If you use it you are just experimenting on yourself”.
Few more factoids:
- 10% of teens have tried fake weed.
- It is smoked or made into a tea.
- Looks like potpourri or incense, and is sold that way often.
Spice: If you use it, you're experimenting on yourself. NIDA for Teens
OK, that’s it for today. Don’t be a fool. Take care of that brain and that body – you only have one of each, and the decisions you make today can change your life forever. You want to be healthy enough to live out all those dreams you have for when you make it out of your teen years. And we can’t wait to see what good you bring to the world as adults.