I know that this is a bit off topic. However, I can’t help but reading about this new and harmful, untested and very dangerous synthetic marijuana called “Spice.” It’s also been called “K2.” After reading numerous news reports, seeing the shocking numbers of overdoses that have been documented and then learning that it is somehow still legal, I thought that a short write-up on it was warranted.
If you have not heard about this new wave of legal and mind-bending drugs hitting head shops around the country, allow me to bring you up to speed. Shortly, it will be banned. And hopefully soon. Until such a time, if you have kids, make sure you educate them on the dangers of Spice. Also, for those of you who think that you could use it and get away with it at work, think again; there are new tests out for it. Lastly, the Feds and many state governments are hard at work to officially ban this harmful substance once and for all.
So here’s the scoop…
There has been much discussion in both the legal and medical communities, as well as within the workplaces, over the dangers of “K2,” or “Spice,” and synthetic marijuana. K2, or Spice, is a synthesized version of marijuana, which combines a mixture of unknown herbs that are sprayed with chemicals that are not disclosed on the ingredients list on the packaging, that are supposed to contain synthetic amounts of THC variants that are not currently banned by the DEA or the federal government, which purportedly gives the user a “high” that is similar to marijuana. In so many words: People are buying this herb mixture – which is available at most smoke shops or head shops around the country – and smoking toxic substances that get them high. The packaging, oddly enough, is labeled as, “Not for human consumption.”
Researchers are warning of the dangers of smoking what they deem as “toxic substances” for any person who is considering using spice to get high. A reputed professor of toxicology at Saint Louis University, Anthony Scalzo, M.D., who is also the director at the Missouri Regional Poison Control Center, advises that spice is both dangerous and very toxic. “K2 may be a mixture of herbal and spice plant products, but it is sprayed with a potent psychotropic drug and likely contaminated with an unknown toxic substance that is causing many adverse effects. These toxic chemicals are neither natural nor safe,” Scalzo explains.
For those who think that by smoking spice they can avoid being penalized at workplaces that drug test them, major drug testing labs have already updated their tests so that they can identify persons who are using this drug. The Redwood Toxicology Laboratory, Inc., a major drug testing lab that is used by many employers to test their employees, has announced on their website recently that, “It now offers lab-based testing for the detection of JWH-018 and JWH-073 metabolites in urine. JWH-018 and JWH-073 are the primary synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists responsible for the euphoric and psychoactive effects that imitate marijuana and are among the numerous compounds found in “herbal” incense or smoke blends.” Many other labs are following suit.
For those considering using spice to get high, they not only could be placing their health at serious risk, but they could also be risking their jobs as well if they test positive for spice. The side effects that are being reported by emergency rooms are off the charts, according to Scalzo. Common documented side effects include: Agitation, elevated heart rate, hallucinations, increased blood pressure, tremors, seizures and vomiting. Currently spice is on a ballot to be banned by the DEA, and it is also being banned by individual cities across the US.