Online Information on Spice Drugs Misleading

Spice drugs are not necessarily causing concern among parents or even law enforcement, but the availability of such drugs online should gain attention. Science Daily recently published a release that summarized the findings of a paper to be published this month by University of Hertfordshire researchers. A spice drug is the brand name for an herbal mix that is widely sold as an ‘incense’ or legal substitute for cannabis. It is available in a variety of flavors, such as ‘Spice Diamond’, ‘Spice Gold’, ‘Spice Silver’, ‘2Spicy’ and ‘Spice of Life’. The paper covers a study conducted by Professor Fabrizio Schifano and Dr. Ornella Corazza at the University’s School of Pharmacy. An overview of the online available information on Spice products, this study carried out an eight-language qualitative assessment of information available on such products in a sample of roughly 200 websites. “Spice is sold as a legal substitute for cannabis and our study has identified a number of websites offering both information and purchase opportunities,” said Professor Fabrizio. “Our concern is that very little is known about both human metabolism and toxicity of these compounds. We plan to use this study, the first multilingual review of Spice, to raise awareness among health professionals that the World Wide Web is a new resource for the drug and therefore more information is needed about its effects.” The biggest concern surrounding this industry is that while Spice products tend to appeal to online customers due to its cannabis -like effects, legal status, lack of detection in biological samples and ease of online access, most product descriptions available online do not mention the strong synthetic properties that account for the psychoactive/hallucinogenic effects of Spice other herbal blends. The lack of such information can easily put users at risk.

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