Is Spice Safe?
There are many side effects from smoking synthetic marijuana that can be the same or worse than those of real weed.
Reports indicate the pleasant side effects of Spice are similar to marijuana – such as elevated mood, relaxation and altered perception.
However, other less pleasant side effects of K2 include:
- psychotic symptoms,
- paranoia, increased anxiety and hallucinations – increasingly reported to be even more severe after smoking Spice than after smoking marijuana.
- increased heart rate
- uncontrollable body movements
- lack of emotional attachment
- sweating and loss of control
- red eyes
- dry mouth.
One side effect not shared with marijuana is increased hunger. Many herbal incense users report a lack of appetite when using the drug.
It’s Not Really That Bad – Is It?
Reactions, or side effects, from smoking Spice can also be fatal in some cases. This can be quick – for example, after smoking just once – or happen after many experiences with the drug.
Spice, K2 and related legal highs have also been implicated in several cases of kidney failure and heart attacks. Testimonials from users – both regular users and those who used it only one time – speak of hallucinations, suicidal and homicidal thoughts and actions, intense fear and paranoia.
There are several cases where synthetic weed has been implicated in deaths from suicide or accidental means.
Spice also causes reduced blood flow to the heart, also known as myocardial ischemia, which can cause both damage to the heart, or a heart attack.
There have also been reports of long term damage to mental health status with continuing hallucinations appearing after several months of trying the drug.
As a legal high, some people assume that there is no risk of addiction to spice – a common side effect to any drug. This is not the case. Some first time users may find that the intensity of the K2 side effects, particularly the negative side effects such as hallucinations, are enough to stop them from trying Spice or its derivatives again. Others will crave the intensity of the effects of Spice, just as one would from “hard core drugs” like heroin, crack, and pain killers.
Serious withdrawal symptoms are also common in regular users who stop smoking fake weed. This is one of the most common complaints of people who post their stories to this site.
Over 200 Chemicals – And Counting
Herbal incense side effects can vary greatly from package to package, even for the same brand of Spice derivative. Smoking Spice from one package may produce a mellow and pleasant effect, yet smoking from another package of the same brand may produce effects of intense paranoia and hallucinations even in the seasoned smoker.
This may be caused by the ‘skirting’ of drug laws by manufacturers of Spice. As one chemical compound sold as Spice becomes illegal, the makers replace it with another ‘legal’ substance capable of the same physical effects, but slightly different in its chemical makeup. Today, there are over 200 known variants of synthetic cannabinoids,. Only about 50 are outlawed in the US.
Another explanation for the widely different effects is the crude manner in which these drugs are produced. One of the largest companies in the synthetic marijuana industry, Mr Nice Guy, was reportedly using cement mixers and nail polish remover to produce their herbal incense. This causes what are known as ‘hot-spots” where the synthetic cannabinoids are much stronger in one area than another in the same package.
While Spice is currently considered a ‘legal’ high in some areas of the world, it is wise to be aware of the side effects and risks of smoking incense – both positive and negative – in making the decision to abstain from or smoke Spice, K2 or any of its ‘herbal incense’ type derivatives.
Many countries, states and counties have made synthetic marijuana illegal due to its side effects – including here in the US. Being aware of the risks is the best way to keep yourself safe.