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Just How Dangerous Is Synthetic Marijuana?
There are many cons when it comes to legalizing marijuana, as voters in several states have now done, but one of the most important is the risk of more teens using harmful synthetic marijuana products. As marijuana becomes a legal recreational drug, underage users may turn to synthetic versions of this natural product. Synthetic marijuana has been on the market for years, and the clever makers of this type of drug find new and inventive ways to keep it in the hands of young people, despite the disastrous consequences.
What Is Synthetic Marijuana?
Marijuana is a natural product and comes from the cannabis plant. Users smoke or ingest it to get a high from the active compounds in the plant, called cannabinoids. The most prevalent cannabinoid is called THC. Synthetic versions of marijuana are lab-created chemicals that are designed to be similar to and to mimic the effects of THC. Typically the manufacturer creates the compound as a liquid and sprays it onto some kind of dried plant material so that it resembles marijuana or something more innocuous, like potpourri or incense.
Is Synthetic Marijuana Legal?
This is a complicated question because making it illegal is difficult. When one specific compound or a way of packaging synthetic marijuana is outlawed, the drug makers simply change up their formula and make something new. Young people are quick to catch on and find the same old product in new packaging. The original and most common form of synthetic marijuana has mostly been banned, but it keeps cropping up in new ways.
Side Effects of Synthetic Marijuana
Synthetic marijuana can be much more dangerous than the natural drug that it emulates. The main reason for this is that users can never know exactly what is in the product. With the manufacturers constantly changing their formulas, not to mention their lack of scruples in labeling products accurately, it is impossible to know what you are smoking when you experiment with synthetic pot.
In spite of the variation, there are some commonalities across synthetic marijuana products when it comes to negative and dangerous side effects. Most cause harmful psychological symptoms like anxiety, panic attacks, extreme paranoia, agitation, hallucinations, psychosis and even suicidal thoughts. These products can also cause physical symptoms. These may include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, tremors, spasms, seizures and heart attack, especially for someone with an undiagnosed heart condition.
The dangers of synthetic marijuana are real and serious. It is mostly young people and teens who use these products and they are especially vulnerable to the risks of using synthetic marijuana. Parents and other concerned adults need to know about synthetic marijuana and should educate their teens about it. When teens understand the risks, they can make better and safer choices.