Atlanta, GA (Vocus) November 3, 2010
As if teenagers and young adults weren’t faced with enough peer pressure and challenges, along comes a substance that users report gives a high 4 times that of THC and is legal in many states. More disturbing is that this “smoked incense” is sold over the counter in gas stations and smoke shops and can be purchased via the internet.
Synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals that are often sprayed on herbal smoking material and referred to as synthetic or fake marijuana. Users looking for a legal high often turn to these products because they do not show up on a standard urine drug test. Any Lab Test Now is on the front line and now offers a test specifically for synthetic cannabinoid detection.
It’s Legal - So what’s the problem?
According to experts, the problem is that K2 may be very dangerous and there is currently no data on the drug’s toxicity or how long it stays in the body. Although it is difficult to determine how many people have tried it and are using it, K2 has already been banned in Europe and similar legislation is underway in the US. The Drug Enforcement Administration has classified K2 a “drug of chemical concern.” This potential highly toxic chemical produced partial paralysis, lower body temperatures and a temporary inability to feel pain in mice. Several users have been taken to the emergency room due to toxic side effects such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, respiratory illness, loss of consciousness, paranoia and hallucination, agitation, vomiting and psychotic episodes. In 2009, the National Poison Control Centers took 112 calls related to herbal incense product poisoning. In 2010, that number has grown, estimated to be over 1,500 calls through September.
A test has been developed to detect certain synthetic cannabinoid compounds found in herbal incense products, such as K2 and Spice. The most common psychoactive compounds are known as JWH-018 and JWH-073.
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