Synthetic Cannabinoids

Forensic Science P1 - Brett Austin

History

Synthetic cannabinoids are a man-made drug that alters the brain more powerfully than marijuana, which can result in life-threatening situations due to their effects. Synthetic cannabinoids originated from London in 2004 from a company named Psyche Deli which is now defunct. Synthetic cannabinoids or “fake weed” is a less healthy alternative to marijuana that remains unregulated in most countries.

Main Synthetic Cannabinoid Brands

Medical Short/Long Term Effects

Long term effects show that repeated use will lead to tolerance and then dependence. Users can suffer withdrawal and may experience symptoms of insomnia, paranoia, panic attacks or rapid heartbeat. Short term effects are irregular heartbeat, racing thoughts, agitation, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis, aggression and violent behavior, chest pain, vomiting, acute kidney injury, seizures, strokes and in some cases, death.

Laws on Synthetic Weed

Many states have put laws in place banning the drug and most put it under Schedule 1, though the federal government has not put out an official schedule for the drug. Texas is putting forth a new law to ban the use, sale or distribution of synthetic cannabinoids.