synthetic cannabinoid

What is synthetic cannabis?

Synthetic cannabis is a New Psychoactive Substance (NPS) that was originally designed to mimic or produce similar effects to cannabis and has been sold online since 2004. However, some of the newer substances claiming to be synthetic cannabis do not actually mimic the effects of THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in cannabis). synthetic cannabinoid

Reports suggest it also produces additional negative effects. These powdered chemicals are mixed with solvents and added to herbs and sold in colourful, branded packets. The chemicals usually vary from batch to batch as manufacturers try to stay ahead of the law, so different packets can produce different effects even if the name and branding on the package looks the same.

How is it used?

It’s most commonly smoked and is sometimes drunk as a tea.

Effects of synthetic cannabis

There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug.

Synthetic cannabis affects everyone differently, based on:

  • size, weight and health
  • whether the person is used to taking it
  • whether other drugs are taken around the same time
  • the amount taken
  • the chemical that is used and its strength (varies from batch to batch).

Synthetic cannabis is relatively new, so there is limited information available about its short- and long-term effects, including how safe or unsafe it is to use. However, it has been reported to have similar effects to cannabis along with some additional negative and potentially more harmful ones including:

  • fast and irregular heartbeat
  • racing thoughts
  • agitation, anxiety and paranoia
  • psychosis
  • aggressive and violent behaviour
  • chest pain
  • vomiting
  • acute kidney injury
  • seizures
  • stroke
  • death.1,2,3,4,5,6

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