Synthetic Weed. What is it and which are its effects?
Synthetic weed has made headlines around the world because of the devastation it has caused in several countries. This new drug has spread like wildfire around the world, causing a number of deaths, heart attacks, strokes, etc.
The false safety feeling that we feel by calling that substance synthetic cannabis is responsible for the dangers associated with it. But it is not like that, this substance is not cannabis, it is not fun and it is not medicinal, however its consumption can take you to the hospital or even worse, it is for these reasons that we decided to create this post.
🎯 Synthetic marijuana: what is it really?
They are dry plants impregnated with ethanol or acetone containing the compound that mimics the THC molecule, and they come in zip packaging with different trade names. It is called synthetic weed or fake cannabis but it really has little to do with the natural product.
Image of the grass they call synthetic cannabis*
What does synthetic weed smell like?
It can have fruity aromas, reminiscent of strawberries or melons among others, but already in the smell you can tell that it is not typical of good cannabis. They probably use artificial terpenes to make it look like dried buds, but it happens like with other artificial products, you can tell it’s not natural.
🔥 What is synthetic weed made from?
Liquid synthetic weed is produced in a laboratory, as well as many other new substances that emulate forbidden drugs, and are known as “Research Chemicals“. Cannabinoids are synthesized and then dissolved in acetone or ethanol. This liquid is then used to produce a synthetic weed spray that they use to spray dried leaves from other plants.
Who makes synthetic weed?
A few years ago most of the laboratories producing synthetic drugs were in the UK and USA. Nowadays most of these compounds come from China and other parts of Asia, although Russia is also a producer.
Being THC-like molecules, it activates cannabinoid receptors, but the effects are not the same as those of regular cannabis. Synthetic weed is actually thought to act more powerfully on these receptors in the human body, but there have really been too few studies on this subject to draw any conclusive results.
Some claim that synthetic cannabinoids are between 2 and 100 times more poweful than natural ones. This answers why there have been so many cases of severe intoxication, ending up in hospital emergency.
What are the symptoms of smoking synthetic weed?
- Accelerated heart rate
- Changes in reality perception
- Mental block
The point is that the effect is not pleasant, no creativity, motivation or happiness as cannabis can cause in its natural state. It’s like sniffing glue and waiting for the effects of magic mushrooms, something pointless.
🧐 Side effects
- Suicidal thoughts
- Violent behaviour
⚠️ How long does Synthetic Weed stay in your system?
It seems that synthetic cannabinoids adhere stronger to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and this may cause them to remain in our bodies longer. Unfortunately it is difficult to predict the exact time because the composition of commercial synthetic weed packs can vary greatly from one brand to another.
Does Synthetic Weed show up in a drug test ?
The answer is yes, synthetic weed can be detected in urine, saliva and blood, just like regular cannabis. If you are in a profession where you get blood tests, you are sure to test positive, just like if you are an athlete it would appear in the anti-doping test.
📱 Is it legal?
It is not legal, but for many years it has been possible to sell it freely because the manufacturers were constantly changing the molecules they were banning. By slightly modifying the chemical composition they managed to avoid the laws and keep up with sales. This led to the creation of many different synthetic cannabinoids, with different strengths, but all of them with similar effects.
🚀 Names of Types of Synthetic Weed
The trade name given to this product is often attractive, and in some cases it can even be confused with the name of some cannabis varieties.
- Black Mamba
Image of a K2 package of synthetic weed*
Synthetic cannabinoids were created for research and there are legal drugs that contain them. The problem with synthetic weed is that three or more different compounds are often mixed together in the same product, without knowing the reaction that may cause this union.
Another danger is that it does not undergo any type of health control, and may contain elements that are harmful to health. Laboratories where they are produced are clandestine, so they can’t have inspections or anything.
“Products not suitable for human consumption“, that’s what it says on the packaging and it’s true, although we all know what we think… The problem is that they haven’t been tested before, neither with animals nor with humans, and the reactions can be multiple.
⛳ Can you overdose?
Many people wonder if you can really be killed by synthetic weed and the answer is definitely yes, and you wouldn’t be the first person. Only in the USA there have been hundreds of cases of overdose from fake weed, many of them ending in death. As we said, it is a combination of cannabinoids synthesized in a clandestine laboratory and mixed with other substances, in some cases Mephedrone, Piperazines or Methamphetamine.
There have been cases of multiple poisonings in a particular geographical area in a short period of time, finding in many cases a common synthetic cannabinoid. As in Russia in 2014, there were more than 600 hospital emergencies for this reason during 2 weeks, 15 of which ended in death. In 2016 something similar happened in New York and other areas of the USA, it caused a lot of international impact because it was called “Zombie Burst“.
Deaths caused by synthetic weed are numbered in hundreds, we are talking about a dangerous product, so be very careful with its use. At Pevgrow we recommend self growing cannabis in its natural state, first of all because it is much better than any artificial product, and secondly so as not to be dependent on others. If you liked this article consider sharing it, it’s the best way to spread the word.Avez-vous entendu parler du cannabis artificie? Comment il est fabriqué et quels sont ses dangers? Ici, tous les secrets du cannabis synthétique.
We Smoked Illegal Fake Weed And Survived!
Our testers, hard at work.
Yesterday, after tabloid pressure, New York State banned sales of synthetic weed. But before that could happen your hardworking Gothamist editors got ahold of a few packages of the bowel-wrecking “drug” for a blind taste test so we all might get a better idea of what all the fuss is about. The things we do for you!
For our highly scientific study we bought three packages of synthetic marijuana—two, “Power Diesel” and “Dead Man,” from a store in Bushwick and one, “Strawberry Funky Monkey XXXX,” from a shop off St. Mark’s—we also obtained a bit of non-synthetic marijuana for comparison sake. We tried to get some of the “big names” in the field but nobody seemed to have “K2” or “Spice” stocked.
Before we go any further, however, let’s be VERY clear: All of the products that we bought clearly say on their packaging that they are “NOT for human consumption” and as such we do NOT recommend you try this at home. Everyone partaking in this study was a highly trained professional with years of field experience. Okay, with that out of the way, let’s spark up!
How We Rolled
To maintain the integrity of the test, we took each of the samples out of their packaging and had a trusty advisor keep track of which was which. Each sample was then examined for its appearance and smell (technically these things are “incense”) before being rolled into a “joint.” Each of those synthetic marijuana cigarettes (along with one real one) were then smoked for at least three puffs by three hard working bloggers.
If you are looking to buy synthetic weed for its intended purpose we strongly suggest you don’t. Unsmoked, none of the samples we purchased smelled particularly pleasant and they got worse lit up. Dead Man and Power Diesel, in particular, both have the slightly sickly smell of cheap potpourri your grandmother might pick up at Kmart. The only one that was even close to acceptable was the strawberry Funky Monkey which, while still smelling awful, at least has a fake strawberry scent going for it.
Y’know the acrid smell of burnt stem? When burnt they smelled like that. But again, the strawberry came out on top. If you were a young kid trying to get high while persuading your parents you’d just gotten really into incense, you could conceivably smoke this stuff and pass off the smell. The actual marijuana, meanwhile, smelled very strongly of, well, pot (you could smell it through a backpack) and when smoked produced an odor familiar to friends of Mary Jane the world over.
The three fakes looked pretty similar. Like oregano and other spices mixed together. As you can see in the photos the two non-flavored products were a light green color speckled with stems and seeds while the strawberry flavored one had a browner color and appeared to have more stuff in it. Despite looking dried out, however, all three were surprisingly supple to the touch, making them harder to break up finely than the actual marijuana. Who knew that spraying chemicals on plants might keep them from drying out!
And then we got to the real point of this exercise. Yes, ma’am, we smoked the stuff. And we won’t be doing that again.
Of the three the clear “winner” was the strawberry one, only because its heavily chemical “flavoring” masked the dryness of the actual product. It was like smoking strawberry-flavored hashish without the hashish. It smoked smoothly with a lightly-flavored taste (though, like its peers, it had a chemical burny aftertaste). In terms of the “high” it produced, it wasn’t much but it was there. Sort of a back-of-the-eyes, light headedness along with drymouth. One participant said their “cheeks feel rosy, eyes ‘tickley.'” After that though we were left with a harsh aftertaste of sticks and dirt on the tongue.
The other two samples elicited similar, if less positive, responses. Dead Man reminded one taster of Catholic incense (“want to flashback to your repressed childhood religious experiences? Try this!”) with, another person pointed out, a slight “apple” flavor up front. And Power Diesel’s chemical flavor seemed to be the least appetizing to our testers (“tiny bit of bleach/chemical taste to it,” “dirty menthol”). Of the three the Power Diesel also burned the strangest, twice making crackling and popping noises while being smoked.
The real weed, meanwhile, tasted like weed, burned evenly like weed, had no chemical flavors and did exactly what we expected it to.
Fake weed looks, tastes and smokes like the cheap crap you might buy from a guy on a bike in Washington Square Park or the stuff your tried that one time in eighth grade. Which helps explain its apparent popularity with kids. It doesn’t look like much, smells worse and smokes poorly. But it does give the smoker a slight high, akin to the one you had that one time in middle school. An eye high, if you will, that fades fast. In our tests we experienced none of the symptoms that the New York State Department of Health is so worried about. No heart palpitations, no confusion or seizures. Just a light high.
So then the question is: Would we smoke the stuff again? On its own, no. But maybe as filler for a blunt at a party when our stash is low. Should it be illegal? While far deadlier drugs like tobacco are still legal, we can’t really see why. We’d much rather smoke the real stuff though!Fake weed was banned in New York State yesterday, but before that happened we sat down and tried the stuff. The things we do for our readers! ]]>