The risks of legal marijuana substitutes

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There may now exist a product that offers the same effects of Marijuana that can be sold legally in some cases. It’s called ‘Spice’. It is referred to as a natural and legal alternative to pot, sold online and in head shops but oddly enough it is labeled ‘not for human consumption’. Spice isn’t completely natural, however, it contains chemicals produced in a lab, which allows the various drug enforcement agencies to ban certain elements in the production. Spice is second only to Marijuana in drugs used by younger people as a result of the popular belief that it is natural and safe. The drug is usually smoked, but like pot it can be mixed into tea. There are no medical benefits in using spice and it has several negative effects on the body:

  • Fast heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations

Via NIDA for Teens:

Spice is pretty new, so we haven’t yet studied how it affects the brain. We do know that the chemicals found in Spice attach to the same nerve cell receptors as THC, the main mind-altering component of marijuana. Some of the chemicals found in Spice, however, attach to those receptors more strongly, which could lead to a much stronger and more unpredictable effect. We don’t know the chemical composition of many products sold as Spice. So, it’s likely that some varieties also contain substances that could cause very different effects than the user might expect.

Like many new drugs now sold both on the street and from legal businesses, the science community has not quite caught up to all the different variations of spice, due in part to the constantly changing chemistry behind the drug. We do know that it affects people much in the same way as marijuana, and that people believe it to be safer than other drugs because of the myth that it is completely natural. Some of the science surrounding Spice suggests that there may be heavy metal elements in the drug which could lead to serious medical complications from use.

Similar to other drugs, it is believed that prolonged use of spice can lead to withdrawal symptoms and addiction.

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Sobriety Foundation

The risks of legal marijuana substitutes

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