Synthetic marijuana was unintentionally created by John W. Huffman, an organic chemistry professor at Clemson University. The legal alternative to natural cannabis is popular among young adults and teens. The combined chemicals and herbs used in synthetic marijuana imitate the psychoactive properties of THC. The combination of chemicals and herbs found in synthetic marijuana vary depending on the manufacturer. Common brand names include Spice, K2, and skunk.
Spice is often falsely advertised as “incense” and is mainly abused through smoking. Side effects often resemble those of natural cannabis with symptoms including elevated mood, relaxation and altered perception. Chemicals in spice hold onto brain receptors, causing strong and unpredictable symptoms. Spice abusers are often taken to Poison Control Centers for treatment of agitation, confusion and heart palpitations. Spice has been associated with a various emergency visits and even responsible in some deaths.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has made many of the chemicals used to produce synthetic marijuana illegal.
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