Synthetic pot, or "fake weed," much riskier than marijuana, study finds
Published on 3/12/17
It's that time of year again where the public needs reminded that a regulated product sold as "synthetic weed" or more commonly known as "spice" is being used by youth as an alternative to federally illegal and much safer, marijuana. These cheap dangerous drugs sold at gas stations to teenagers are readily available and labelled "not for human consumption" for legal purposes. The product's toxic ingredients have been repeatedly outlawed, but manufacturers simply slip through a loophole by choosing other chemicals like pesticides to cover the synthetic buds that create a high for the user. Teenagers using this unpredictable and dangerous drug have shown to be more likely to be involved in violent behavior and dating violence and more prone to seizures, coma, and even death.
Marijuana is often seen as a relatively benign drug that produces a typically mellow high, but new U.S. government research shows that the drugs called synthetic pot appear to be much different.
Teens often turn to synthetic agents because they are easily available, cheap, offer sensation-seeking thrills and are hard to detect, Krakower noted.
Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said, “Teens who use synthetic [substances found in marijuana] are essentially playing a game of Russian roulette.”
Fake pot is often sprayed with dangerous chemicals or even pesticides. These chemicals can lead to unpredictable -- and sometimes deadly -- outcomes, he warned