Spice or “K2” is a stronger and riskier synthetic version of marijuana. It is usually obtained via the internet, at small convenience stores, gas stations, or smoke shops under the category of herbal smoking blends, incense or potpourri. Being synthetic designer drugs with psychoactive properties, they are often labeled as “not for human consumption” to shield manufacturers, retailers and sellers from criminal prosecution.
To make these synthetic cannabinoids more appealing to youths, they are often given exotic and extravagant names. Some of the popular street names by which synthetic marijuana is known include Smoke, Skunk, Fire and Black Magic.
It is a highly potent liquid, often sprayed on plant matter to simulate real marijuana, but causes a high that is many times more intense. In addition to potpourri and incense, liquid cannabinoids can be vaporized through electronic cigarettes and other devices.
The easy availability and the false assumption that Spice/K2 is safer has contributed to the higher rate of Spice/K2 use, no wonder why it is the second-most popular illegal drug used by high school seniors. Due to its potential to cause a “high,” synthetic marijuana can be addictive and can produce uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, resulting in a number of side effects.
Following are some of the reasons why users of marijuana tend to get into K2 abuse:
- Lower cost
- Longer lasting effects
- Inaccurate assumption of being safer than marijuana
- Doesn’t show up on standard drug tests
- Produces similar elevated mood and relaxation effects as marijuana
The unpredictable dangers associated with synthetic marijuana compounds have led to the substance being branded as a “designer drug,” placing its active ingredients on the list of controlled substances in recent years.