Definition and Description
Cannabinoids refer to the different compounds present in the cannabis plant, also referred to as marijuana. More broadly it can include any substance that contains tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. There are both naturally occurring Cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and synthetic cannabinoids replicated in a lab. Some access certain receptors in the brain that cause altered psychological effects.
The psychologically altering Cannabinoids include:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- Cannibinol (CBN)
- Cannibinodiol (CBDL)
Synthetic Cannabinoids can be far more dangerous than their natural counterparts. They are often referred to as “fake weed” and include:
Blaze, Blueberry Haze, Dank, Demon Passion Smoke, Genie, Hawaiian Hybrid, K2, Magma, Ninja, Nitro, Ono Budz, Panama Red Ball, Puff, Sativah Herbal Smoke, Skunk, Spice, Ultra Chronic and Voodoo Spice
What does it look like and how is it taken?
Cannabinoids derive from cannabis, which is a green, three-leafed plant. People consume the drug orally, and sometimes they are even baked into desserts such as brownies. They also smoke it.
Synthetic Cannabinoids, or fake weed, come in colors such as red, green, brown and yellow and look like dried leaves. They come in small packets, usually a 2×3 foil pack or a plastic zip bag. Users also smoke fake weed.
Illegal or Legal?
Cannabinoids that come from the Marijuana plant are still illegal in most states. Some states have made Marijuana legal for recreational use. Several states have legalized marijuana for medical use only. In those states, possessing marijuana other than for medical purposes is still illegal. In all other states marijuana is illegal. Click here to see the latest map of states to see where they stand.
The Cannabinoids taken from hemp plants are legal and can be found in many markets. In synthetic form such as K2, or Spice, however, are illegal.
Why are Cannabinoids taken?
Cannabinoids react with the area of the brain that cause feelings of reward. It also reacts with the pain receptor minimizing feelings of pain. People using cannabinoids usually experience small feelings of euphoria.
Synthetic cannabinoids were first widely used because they were legal, as opposed to marijuana, which is illegal. They produce a similar “high” to marijuana, however, the high does not last as long. Synthetic cannabinoids were available to purchase at many stores, and the substances became widely used especially among young people. However, because of the serious and even deadly effects of K2 / Spice many have become illegal.
Dangers and side effects
Cannabinoids effect memory and motor skills. When smoked, it has negative effects on the lungs.
The synthetic form can be deadly. People who use the synthetic drug usually buy into the idea that they are natural because the substances derive from plants. They are in fact anything but natural. There can contain many chemicals with unknown levels of toxicity and are not approved for human consumption. The use of Synthetic cannabinoids is cause for concern because there are not enough studies testing the ultimate harmful effects . There may be harmful heavy metal residue in Spice mixtures. More information on the chemicals included are not known.
Side effects of the synthetic form
Those reported by K2 / Spice abusers taken to Poison Control Centers, include rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, and elevated blood pressure. There is also a link between cannabinoids and heart attacks. If used regularly, synthetic cannabinoids, or fake weed can cause addiction and symptoms of withdrawal.
Street names for the synthetic form
Street names for synthetic cannabinoids include fake weed, herbal bud or legal bud.
Drug Testing for Cannabinoids
The dangers and risks of using Cannabinoids and synthetic Cannabinoids are great. If you suspect that a friend or loved one is using Cannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoids such as K2 / Spice, ask them to take a drug test.
uVera Diagnostics has drug test kits, including CLIA Waived drug test kits, that test for the use of drugs. Drug test kits can be ordered online for use at home or work.
From small quantities to large bulk orders, uVera Diagnostics has a drug testing product that is right for you. Order online or call 1-866-242-5930.
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You can also read our blogs, Marijuana Dangers and the Importance of Drug Testing and Random Drug Testing: A Valuable Tool for Creating a Drug-Free Workplace