Types of Synthetic Marijuana and Their Side Effects

by | Last updated May 16, 2022 | Published on May 12, 2022 | Cannabinoids | 0 comments


If you’ve ever heard the term “synthetic marijuana,” you’ve probably wondered what it was. Synthetic marijuana is a designer drug used by people who want to get high without getting caught by law enforcement. It comes in various forms, including liquid and powder, and it’s sold as incense or potpourri.

What is Synthetic Marijuana?

Synthetic marijuana is also known by many other names, including K2, Spice, and Black Mamba. The most popular brand of synthetic cannabinoids is called Spice. It’s a mixture of herbs, spices, or shredded plant material typically sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).

These drugs are similar to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, but they’re not real marijuana at all. They’re made in a lab and can be more potent than regular marijuana. Synthetic marijuana’s effects include hallucinations, nausea/vomiting, severe anxiety/paranoia, and seizures.

Common street names for synthetic marijuana include Kronic, Northern Lights, K2, Kaos, Spruce, and fake weed. 

Types of Synthetic Marijuana

The most common types of synthetic marijuana include Spice, K2, and THC pills. These drugs come in many different forms, including liquid, oil, and herb.  

THC Pills

Synthetic marijuana pills or THC pills (also known as fake weed) are synthetic cannabinoids that are sometimes sold over the counter at convenience stores. The ingredients in synthetic marijuana pills vary depending on what is available in your area, but they usually contain one or more chemicals. 

These pills contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana plants. When taken orally instead of smoked like traditional weed, THC pills produce similar effects but do not deliver any harmful carcinogens like tar or carbon monoxide into your body.

Marijuana Spray

Synthetic marijuana spray is different from other forms of synthetic marijuana because it doesn’t need to be smoked. Instead, you simply spray the drug on paper and light it. It’s important to note that smoking is often the most common way people use synthetic marijuana, leading to many health issues, including lung disease, cardiovascular complications, and even death. Smoking can also cause respiratory problems if you have asthma or allergies.

K2 or Spice

Spice has been around for decades, but it has gained popularity in recent years because it is easily accessible and inexpensive. Spice is often sold at gas stations and smoke shops under the name “potpourri” or “incense” to be marketed as safe and legal. Spice contains an herb called Salvia divinorum, a hallucinogen that can cause seizures and death if it’s ingested in large amounts. 

Side Effects of Synthetic Marijuana

Synthetic cannabinoids have been linked to several health problems, including acute kidney injury and strokes in young adults. Side effects of synthetic marijuana include increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, vomiting, blackouts, nausea, seizures, and suicidal thoughts. The drug can also cause panic attacks, hallucinations, and violent behavior. The most common side effects of synthetic marijuana include:

  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Addiction

Unfortunately, because the chemical makeup of synthetic marijuana products is unknown, it’s impossible to know what to expect. While some users report elevated mood and relaxation, others experience psychotic effects like paranoia and hallucinations. 

Dangers of Synthetic Cannabinoids

In addition to being addictive, synthetic marijuana can be hazardous when used in high dosages. There have even been reports of deaths caused by the drug’s use. You should never take an unknown amount of any drug, especially one where there is no way to measure how much will be safe for your body accurately.

Furthermore, synthetic cannabinoids can also be addictive and lead to overdose. Because synthetic marijuana can cause toxic reactions, there’s a high risk of experiencing seizures, elevated blood pressure, and life-threatening side effects that require immediate medical attention. 

While synthetic marijuana is gaining popularity, it’s highly dangerous. If you or someone you know uses marijuana or any synthetic alternatives, please consider seeking help. Through behavioral therapies and medication, you may find long-lasting recovery. Speak with your primary doctor or an addiction specialist to understand your symptoms and find ways to find treatment for your addiction. 




Written by: Nick B.

Nicholas B. is the Corporate Director of Admissions for our substance abuse and behavioral health company. Nick’s mission is to provide quality care to every person that reaches out regarding substance abuse or behavioral health questions. Knowledge of an ever-changing industry, compassion when dealing with people, and compliance in every decision are the forces that drive his personal and professional growth.

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