Synthetic Marijuana or Synthetic Cannabis: Effects on Heart, Popularity

What is Synthetic Marijuana or Synthetic Cannabis?

Synthetic Marijuana or Synthetic Cannabis was originally introduced as an alternative to the regular marijuana or cannabis. In many cases, this is prepared by spraying chemical substances on natural herbs. This has been claimed to produce a high similar to that of actual marijuana.

Most importantly, Synthetic Marijuana or Synthetic Cannabis is marketed legally starting from the year 2006. Since the introduction of this ‘designer drug’, its popularity has increased especially among youngsters and teenagers. However, there is a huge controversy surrounding the safety of this drug.

Synthetic Marijuana or Synthetic Cannabis is said to be a mixture of herbs and laboratory chemicals. There is no set formula for manufacturing this substance. Different manufacturers use different combinations to produce this. Popular herbs used in this include Beach Bean, Indian Lotus, Honey weed and Dwarf Skullcap etc. Various synthetic cannabinoids can be sprayed on these herbs to produce synthetic marijuana. These cannabinoids react on a human body similar to that of the THC found in natural marijuana.

In most of the cases, cannabinoids like cannabicyclohexanol, JWH-018, and HU-210 etc. are used for producing synthetic cannabis. These chemical substances are entirely legal, but the effects they have on a human body are not completely tested. This is the reason why most of the synthetic marijuana manufacturers use the above mentioned substances to avoid legal problems. These are marketed through different mediums and promoted legally. The packages having synthetic cannabis often have disclaimers regarding the effects they may produce in a human body.

What is Synthetic Marijuana or Synthetic Cannabis?

There are various brands involved in the production of these ‘fake weed’ products. Some of the notable brands in the market include Spice, K2, and Black Mamba etc. The products are often marketed as bath salts, herbal incense or potpourri. They are often marketed as a substance that can mimic the effects of marijuana.

What Are The Effects of Synthetic Marijuana or Synthetic Cannabis on Heart?

There are no scientific studies available to determine the exact effects of smoking synthetic marijuana. The cannabinoids present in the synthetic products may provide a high similar to that of natural marijuana. However, the adverse effects of synthetic cannabis are often considered to be worse than marijuana itself. The symptoms vary from user to user but it is not generally considered to produce favorable effects. The lack of scientific studies on this drug makes it risky affair as it might produce many unknown side effects.

Some of the incidents relate synthetic marijuana to heart attacks. Actual marijuana will increase the heart rate of the smoker but it is hardly associated with heart diseases. While there are no certain links to synthetic marijuana and heart attacks, the toxicity of the chemical substances used here is not yet measured and it can be considered quite dangerous. Another important factor is that synthetic marijuana will not test positive in the common drug tests used for marijuana.

Why is Synthetic Marijuana or Synthetic Cannabis Popular?

The popularity of synthetic marijuana is on the rise since its introduction in the early 2000s. A lot of young people have started using this substance mainly due to their easy availability. As of now, many countries have banned the production of synthetic marijuana and the substances present in it. Despite this ban, synthetic marijuana continues to be one of the popular drugs used by youngsters.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 10, 2019

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