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What is Spice? The Truth About Synthetic Marijuana

Spice or Synthetic marijuana is artificially made, highly addictive and dangerous.What is synthetic marijuana, also known as Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, fake weed, Spice or K2? It’s not just one thing. It’s a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce a similar feeling as marijuana (cannabis). They are marketed as a “safe” and “legal” alternative to marijuana. They are often labeled as “not for human consumption” to get around drug laws (in some States these products are illegal).

Synthetic marijuana usually contains dried pieces of plant material and then a chemical additive(s) that cause the mind-altering effect similar to cannabis. The advertising of these products is often misleading. For example, Spice products often say that they contain “natural” plant materials that cause the drug-like high, but what actually causes the high are the synthetic cannabinoid chemicals that are added to dried plant material.

Spice and other synthetic marijuana mixtures often can be purchased in head shops, gas stations or through the Internet as “incense” (even though they look more like potpourri). However, the chemicals used are often highly addictive, dangerous, and offer no medical benefit. This is why the DEA has made five of the chemicals most commonly found in Spice or synthetic marijuana, Schedule I controlled substances, making it illegal to sell, buy or possess. So how is it still being sold? Manufacturers of Spice and other types of synthetic marijuana are constantly substituting different psycho-active chemicals that are just as addictive and dangerous. (DrugAbuse.gov)

There is a misperception about Spice or other forms of synthetic marijuana being “natural” and therefore harmless, but there is nothing natural about the chemicals that are used. This misunderstanding and easy access contribute to its popularity, especially among high school students. The truth is Spice or other forms of synthetic marijuana are artificially made, potentially stronger than marijuana, highly addictive and dangerous.

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