Essay about Dangers of Synthetics

Essay about Dangers of Synthetics

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These synthetic drugs are known by many different names including spice, herbal incense, synthetic cannabis, herbal smoke, and potpourri. And within each of these marketing categories there are numerous brand names like Spice, Scentsi Star, Zombie Matter, etc. They are typically sold online or in head shops--novelty stores that sell cannabis paraphernalia. The substance generally comes in foil packages with colorful designs and labels and is relatively inexpensive costing $15-25 for 1-3 gram packages. In addition to not showing up on drug screenings, synthesized drugs have fruity or floral aromas that are not easily recognizable to non-users as mind-altering substances and are also usually labeled “not for human consumption.”
These synthetic drugs are created when “the synthetic cannabimimetrics, the active ingredient in these drugs, are dissolved in organic solvent (e.g. acetone) and sprayed over the entire plant mixture, creating an unregulated and unknown composition and purity that is associated with risks,” (Zawilska & Wojcieszak, 2014). The plant material in these mixtures contains numerous vegetal compounds, some of which are known for having psychoactive properties themselves, ground and blended together.
However, while synthetic cannabinoids are used to attain an experience similar to the use of marijuana, they are structurally different from THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in naturally occurring cannabis. Spice products can be distinguished by factors including “the presence of: (1) pronounced variations in the core structure of synthetic cannabimimetrics, (2) considerable inter- and intra-batch variability in smoking mixtures, both in terms of substances present and their quantity and (3) ever changing com...


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...9/00952990.2012.677890
Griffifths, P., Sedefov, R., Gallegos, A., & Lopez, D. (2010). How globalization and market innovation challenge how we think about and respond to drug use: 'spice' a case study. Addiction, 105(6), 951-953. doi: http://dx.doi.org.libweb.lib.utsa.edu/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02874.x
Rominger, A., Cumming, P., Xiong, G., Koller, G., & Forster, S. (2013). Effects of acute detoxification of herbal blend 'spice gold' on dopamine d2/3 receptor availability: A [18f]fallypride pet study. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 23(11), 1606-1610. doi: http://dx.doi.org.libweb.lib.utsa.edu/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2013.01.009
Zawilska, J. B., & Wojcieszak, J. (2014). Spice/k2 drugs- more than innocent substitutes for marijuana. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 17(3), 509-525. doi: http://dx.doi.org.libweb.lib.utsa.edu/10.1017/S1461145713001247

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