Banner
    Marijuana Is Bad For You - But Synthetic Marijuana Is Worse
    By News Staff | January 23rd 2014 05:00 AM | 4 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Marijuana is enjoying a golden age of cultural advocacy, to such an extent that its medical benefits are exaggerated while the obvious impact on health is trivialized.

    The health implications are unclear because a number of illnesses from marijuana may have been attributed to cigarettes or other products, but the dangers of synthetic marijuana, sometimes labeled as incense, potpourri, or herbal smoking blend, is more clear.  The products are sold in gas stations and convenience stores, under a variety of brand names including Black Mamba, K2 and Spice. It is a mixture of dried herbs and spices sprayed with chemicals that, when smoked, create a high that is supposed to be similar to THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana. In reality, these agents can cause much more severe symptoms than organic marijuana. and the package labels often warn that it is not for human consumption. 

    In the fall of 2013, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment learned of an unusually large increase in emergency department visits related to synthetic marijuana use in the Denver metro area. Between Aug. 21 and Sept. 19, 263 people visited area emergency rooms with similar symptoms including altered mental status, irregular heart beat and seizures. Approximately 10 percent were admitted to intensive care breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.


    The U.S. should prepare for more outbreaks of illness and possible deaths from synthetic marijuana and other designer drugs, according to new research in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    "These substances are not benign," said the paper's lead author Andrew Monte, MD, an assistant professor in emergency medicine and medical toxicology at
    the University of Colorado Denver
     School of Medicine. "You can buy designer drugs of abuse at convenience stores and on the Internet. People may not realize how dangerous these drugs can be -- up to 1,000 times stronger binding to cannabis receptors when compared to traditional marijuana." In addition, synthetic marijuana has effects on serotonin and other stimulant receptors in the brain which can lead to delirium, seizures and strokes.

    "Synthetic marijuana is illegal under DEA law, but companies that make it are a step ahead with new chemicals and packaging on standby all the time." said Monte. He says there has been a significant increase in the use of synthetic marijuana in the last 5 years.  Determining which substance made people in Colorado ill required significant resources from hospitals, Poison Control, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, law enforcement agencies and the Centers for Disease Control.

    "Outbreaks like this are likely to keep happening," Monte said. "We need better testing to identify these substances, open communication with public health officials when outbreaks occur and we need to make sure physicians ask patients the right questions about their drug use."


    Citation: Andrew A. Monte, M.D., Alvin C. Bronstein, M.D., Dazhe J. Cao, M.D., Kennon J. Heard, M.D., Ph.D., Jason A. Hoppe, D.O., Christopher O. Hoyte, M.D., Janetta L. Iwanicki, M.D., Eric J. Lavonas, M.D., 'An Outbreak of Exposure to a Novel Synthetic Cannabinoid', N Engl J Med 2014; 370:389-390January 23, 2014 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc1313655

    Comments

    I smoked synthetic marijuana for a few years and was truly addicted to the stuff. When I finally went to try to get help, my doctor has zero clue what I was talking about when I told her I had been smoking synthetic marijuana. She didn't understand what the drug was. I had to educate her on it. I've been sober for a year now and, hopefully, more doctors are aware of the dangers of the drug and understand what it does to people. That would have helped me.

    Thanks for spreading the word about this poison. Educating the public is key!

    Synthetic marijuana may be dangerous, but cannabis is NOT! Marijuana has shown to be a neuroprotectant and has anti-carcinogenic properties that prove to stop, even shrink tumors. Prohibition is the real problem behind the synthetic marijuana problem, if marijuana were legal than we wouldn't see people being hurt by these other less than great drugs. People buy it because they can't get into trouble for buying it the same way you can get in trouble for having a small bag of marijuana on you. Learn more about this substance and the growing industry surrounding marijuana at Northeastern Institute of Cannabis http://northeasterninstituteofcannabis.com/

    Hank
    So if a kid smokes a cigarette they should go to jail because of lung cancer risk but if they smoke a joint it makes them healthier?  

    And it cures cancer also??

    Your site has just overturned all of medical science.
    NIDA CREATED this deadly substance.........."The National Institute of Drug Abuse wanted to research marijuana," said Dr. Victor Tuckler, the emergency room toxicologist at Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans. "They were looking at different receptors of the brain to see if they could come up with a way that people wouldn't get addicted to this stuff."

    Huffman and his colleagues created more than 400 synthetic cannabinoid compounds during the 1990s.

    "Who knows how this got out," Tuckler said. "Pretty soon, it's on the Internet and people are making it over in China."

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/07/clemson_university_professor...