If you do an Internet search on the word "spice" you will most likely find more than just information on what herbs to use to flavor to your next meal. The term ‘Spice’ now also refers to a variety of products sold as legal substitutes for cannabis.
Spice K2: A Legal High to Illegal Drug of Concern Body If you do an Internet search on the word "spice" you will most likely find more than just information on what herbs to use to flavor to your next meal. The term ‘Spice’ now also refers to a variety of products sold as legal substitutes for cannabis. In 200 4, Spice began appearing in head shops and on the Internet with product names such as 'K2', 'Genie', ‘Spice Diamond’, ‘Spice Gold’, ‘Spice Silver’, ’2Spicy’ and ‘Spice of Life’. Now many countries have either completely banned or are considering 'Spice' as an illegal controlled substance. The reason being is that Spice contains potent synthetic cannabinoids, such as JWH-018, JWH-073 and HU-210. These synthetic substances are similar in chemical structure to the active ingredient as cannabis. Hence, spice is sold as a legal way to get high. In the United States, some forms of synthetic cannabis found in spice such as HU -210 are currently listed as a controlled substance that is illegal to possess or use. Several states have passed acts making it illegal under state law, including Kansas, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Several other states are also considering legislation, including Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Indiana, and Ohio to ban Spice and any related products under the synthetic cannabis category. At the Federal Drug Enforcement level, the Drug Enforcement Agency considers it to be a "drug of concern". Spice is considered legal just to the north in Canada. Professor Fabrizio Schifano, Scientific Director of the Psychonaut Web Mapping Project (www.psychonautproject.eu ) which is a web scanning project devoted to finding and alerting others to the introduction of new recreational drugs states that: “Spice is sold as a legal substitute for cannabis and our study has identified a number of websites offering both information and purchase opportunities”. He goes on further to state that “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.” One of the biggest concerns of Drug Treatment Professionals is that Spice products can be easily bought online and have mass appeal especially with a younger audience looking for new ways to get high. The word spreads quickly on forums, chat groups and social networking sites about its use, where, and how to buy it. In addition, those working in law enforcement and drug treatment programs have very little options when it comes to drug testing for Spice. Only until recently have a few drug testing services been able to successfully detect metabolites in urine samples related to the use of Spice. No official studies have been conducted on its effects on humans. Although the effects of synthetic cannaboids are not well documented or understood, recent evidence reports that large doses can have negative effects that are not found among marijuana users, such as increased agitation and vomiting. Professor John W. Huffman who first synthesized many of the cannabinoids used in synthetic cannabis is quoted as saying, "It's like playing Russian roulette. You don't know what it's going to do to you." Also reports of daily use by individuals over a three month period produced withdrawal symptoms similar to those found in narcotic users. This article has been provided courtesy of National Therapeutic Services Inc. (www.livingsober.com) located in Southern California offering one of country's premier drug and alcohol treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction including treatment of dual-diagnosis disorder.
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