A variety of herbs are marketed and sold as legal, safe alternatives to marijuana. They contain shredded plant material and chemicals that cause a mind-altering effect, but it’s often unclear what these products actually contain. There are several hundred varieties of synthetic marijuana, including products sold as herbal smoke or legal buds. Some of the names they are sold under include spice, fake weed, moon rocks and K2.
Smoking fake weed may produce a mild high similar to that of marijuana or a sensation of being relaxed. Users often report that they don’t particularly like the taste and that the pleasant sensations wear off quickly. Other users claim the effects of fake pot are more intense and powerful than marijuana. But are these products safe to use in order to take the edge off anxiety or to get an inexpensive high? What exactly is in these substances?
Labels on fake weed products typically claim that they contain natural, herbal or organic ingredients. But there is nothing natural about these products. They contain varying amounts of synthetic cannabinoids, chemicals originally produced in laboratories for research purposes. Since these substances are created in labs, they are more similar to meth than they are to marijuana.
Sometimes products marketed as synthetic pot include a list of plant materials in the ingredients. Examples of these ingredients include honey weed, Indian lotus or blue Egyptian water lily. But analysis of synthetic marijuana products has shown that they may or may not contain the ingredients listed on the label at all.
As for potency, there is no way of knowing how potent the product will be. Products with identical labels have been found to have very different strengths. Two packages that look exactly alike may have ingredients that are very different.
People are drawn to fake weed for a variety of reasons. One big reason is that synthetic marijuana products don’t trigger a positive test on a urine drug screen, which is making these substances increasingly popular. These products are cheaper than pot and more easily available. They can be purchased online or at gas stations, smoke shops and many other locations. But that doesn’t mean they are safe.
Why Fake Weed Is Dangerous
At first glance, fake weed appears to be a cheap, harmless substitute for the real thing. These products may affect different people in different ways, so the results obtained from using them may be very unpredictable. There is nothing harmless about being unable to find out exactly what you are consuming.
Smoking in general can cause side effects such as throat burn or an aching sensation in your lungs, and these symptoms are often experienced when fake pot is smoked. It is not known what effect smoking herbal products has on humans.
Some people have had bad reactions to the use of synthetic marijuana, and there are an increasing number of emergency room visits triggered by the use of synthetic marijuana. People who have been using fake pot may experience confusion, stare off into space and may even hallucinate. Some show evidence of elevated liver function, a sign of liver damage.
People who use synthetic pot may experience a variety of other unpleasant symptoms, including severe nausea and vomiting, erratic behavior or psychotic episodes. Users may experience an increased heart rate, seizures, strokes or kidney damage. Milder problems may include loss of appetite or a sense of feeling paranoid or jittery.
Another problem is the potential these substances have for abuse or dependence. People who smoke fake pot may become dependent on the substance and gradually need to increase the amount they use. Increased doses may be more dangerous. Some people have experienced withdrawal symptoms when trying to discontinue use.
Worst of all, there have been no studies on the long-term effects of using fake marijuana products. Some experts believe that these substances may have lasting effects on the brain. It’s always risky to use substances that haven’t been thoroughly studied and contain unknown ingredients. Using fake pot is dangerous because you can’t be sure what’s in it, and there may be long-term consequences that haven’t yet been identified.