Signs and Symptoms of Spice Addiction

“Spice” or “K2” is a synthetic form of cannabis, or marijuana. Synthetic cannabis is known to induce similar effects of “being high” in the body. This was at one time believed to be a legal way to get the same high as natural cannabis, but that has since been disproved through research.

The conclusions of the research were that Spice does, indeed, have synthetic cannabinoids, [1] which produce similar results as natural cannabinoids, such as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). These synthetic cannabinoids, which include HU-210, JWH-018, JWH-073, and CP-47-497 (also named Cannabicyclohexanol) are used to get around the illegality of natural marijuana, and therefore make Spice a designer drug. Products similar to Spice which are sprayed with these cannabinoids are also known as Skunk, Smoke, Zohai, Genie, and Yucatan Fire. [2]

Spice is noted to have different side effects on the human body than marijuana use. Side effects from Spice usage can be variable and unpredictable. This unpredictable state can cause a wide variety of dangerous and semi-dangerous physical conditions. Many times, the herbal ingredients listed on the packet are not the only chemical compounds found in Spice. These herbs are often sprayed, and many other substances have been found in various “Spice” mixtures.

Side effects include uncomfortable, internal disquiet, extreme headaches, strong nausea, various small forms of hallucinations, tremors or “the shakes,” and, of course, plenty of sweating. Feelings of numbness accompanied with or preceded by small electrical shocks have been known. Heavy shaking of the body or even vomiting can occur in infrequent cases, especially if the herbal mixture is tainted by unknown substances. [2]

Nervousness or slight paranoia can set in. [3] Withdrawal symptoms of the drug can almost completely destroy the chances of quiet, undisturbed sleep, so a symptom of Spice addiction can also include extreme tiredness and bloodshot eyes. The effects of Spice seem to be less euphoric than marijuana and, while still high, produce a calm and relaxed state, but that this state soon leaves if deprived of the substance longer than twelve hours. [4] Similarly to cannabis, strong feelings of hunger are accompanied with Spice addiction.

Evidence of Spice addiction should be pretty obvious, especially since the various forms and combinations of materials are not uniform or necessarily predictable, so strange and unforeseen behavior can result from its usage.

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1. “What’s the buzz?: Synthetic marijuana, K2, Spice, JWH-018 : Terra Sigillata.” ScienceBlogs. ScienceBlogs.com, n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2011. http://scienceblogs.com/terrasig/2010/02/k2_spice_jwh018_marijuana.php.

2. “Withdrawal Phenomena and Dependence Syndrome After the Consumption of “Spice Gold”.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2719097/.

3. Bryner, Jeanna. “Fake Weed, Real Drug: K2 Causing Hallucinations in Teens | LiveScience.” LiveScience | Science, Technology, Health & Environmental News. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2011. http://www.livescience.com/health/fake-marijuana-k2-hallucinations-100303.html.

4. “The synthetic cannabinoid Spice as a trigger for an acute exacerbation of cannabis induced recurrent psychotic episodes.” Schizophrenia Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2011. http://www.schres-journal.com/article/S0920-9964%2809%2900591-X/abstract.

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