Synthetic Marijuana

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Synthetic marijuana is a designer drug in which herbs, incense or other leafy materials are sprayed with lab-synthesized liquid chemicals to mimic the effect of marijuana. Dr. Edward Hill discusses some of the dangers of these substances in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Sold under the names K2, Spice and others, synthetic marijuana is a combination of chemicals designed to mimic the high of pot. But, it can be two to 100 times more potent.

Because of this increased potency, synthetic marijuana is sending increasing numbers of users to hospitals, researchers report.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reported 20 deaths from synthetic marijuana between 2011 and 2015. And calls to poison control centers related to synthetic marijuana jumped 330 percent the first four months of 2015, the agency said.

Besides deaths, synthetic pot overdoses have also resulted in heart and kidney damage, delirium and coma. Researchers analyzed data from the Toxicology Investigators Consortium, a registry established by the American College of Medical Toxicology.

In 2011, the DEA made five chemicals used in fake pot illegal. But dealers try to skirt the law by continually tinkering with the formula and labeling the products as not fit for human consumption.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.