“Synthetic marijuana” has been in the news for a few years now. Although it goes by many “brand” names like K2 and Spice, the name that it’s called by the most is synthetic marijuana, because it supposedly mimics the effects of natural cannabis.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit I’ve never tried Spice or K2 or anything similar. I can only go by the dozens and dozens of stories I’ve read about the product over the past several years when it comes to my commentary. And from my reading and studying the matter, I’ve gleaned a few nuggets of information.
1) “Synthetic marijuana” tends to make users aggressive and violent. I’ve never seen this happen with someone using natural cannabis, nor have I ever heard of it happening.
2) It tends to make users sick and has even caused strokes and brain damage in some cases. Again, these are not traits normally associated with natural cannabis.
3) Spice, K2 and similar products are chemical concoctions; natural cannabis grows in the ground and doesn’t need anything done to it.
4) People can die from using “synthetic marijuana.” Try dying from smoking too much natural cannabis… Go ahead, give it a shot… I’ll wait.
The fact is that Spice and its brethren are nothing like cannabis. The name “synthetic marijuana” is used to generate website clicks and general interest in whatever story is being peddled.
The thing about cannabis is we don’t need a synthetic version. It grows the ways it grows to do the things it does, and it’s been doing so for thousands of years. Sure, breeding has done much to increase potency and tailor specific strains for certain ailments, but the same has been done to plants and animals throughout time. The only time cannabis needs to be in a lab is to be tested and studied so that we can learn everything this amazing plant can do.
Products like K2 and Spice will never fully go away because there will always be stupid people willing to try stupid things. Just look at tobacco products. But as with tobacco, education is the key.