Synthetic Cannabis

June 27, 2012

There’s been much ado over the synthetic drugs bath salts lately with the bizarre headline-making behavior caused by ingesting them, such as cannibalistic acts.  Now reports are emerging of similar behavior following synthetic cannabis use.  


In the news today was a story about a man from Waco, Texas who is charged with felony cruelty to animals for eating his family’s pet dog while the dog was still alive.  The man is alleged to have been under the influence of the synthetic cannabis drug- K2.  Family members called the police after the man assaulted people in the home and then beat the dog, strangled it and began to eat it.  The dog later died.  


K2 is synthetic cannabis, a designer drug comprised of natural herbs coated with synthetic chemicals that supposedly cause the same gratifying effects of cannabis.  It is often marketed as “herbal incense” or “herbal smoking blend”. 


The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has placed synthetic cannabinoids in its emerging drug category and states that users are often misled into thinking it is “safe” because they believe it to be natural.

“They’re not equivalent. They’re not same,"South Texas Poison Center Director Miguel Fernández said.  Fernandez is also a toxicologist and professor of surgery in emergency medicine and medical toxicology at UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

“The K2 and Spice ones are going to be way, way stronger,” he said. “That’s why they’re dangerous. It’s not because all cannabinoids are bad and cause everyone to go nuts. It’s because these are sort of super cannabinoids.” 

Marijuana is a plant with containing a chemical called Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC that induces feelings of euphoria, anxiety or paranoia.

Synthetic cannabinoids mimic THC, but those chemicals are laced with other unknown plant materials too.

Perhaps it is the amount that causes the drug to be dangerous, or maybe, perhaps all synthetic drugs are dangerous and should be avoided.