Synthetic cannabinoids can be best defined as substances, which hold the status of designer drug and have the potential which enables them to mimic effects of the cannabinoids. A number of psychoactive groups are present, which are utilized as designer drugs. More precisely it can also be said that synthetic cannabinoids are chemical compounds which mimic effect of THC and this is one of the popular ingredients which are present in cannabis. These kinds of chemicals are installed into mixtures of dried plants matter and are being sold under different brand names like K2, Spice etc. these products were initially developed by scientists to work as decent alternatives to cannabis, but it’s better that these should only be taken on the advice of doctors.
Structurally synthetic cannabinoids are much different from THC, but they produce actions which are similar to THC in brain and fall in a number of structural groups.
Coming towards the composition or constituent ingredients it is generally claimed by most of the manufacturers of these drugs that they have been assimilated using different types of herbs which have medicinal values. They produce overall good results because their actions are similar to natural cannabinoids. Spice shows that it contains the following herbs.
• Canavalia maritima or Coastal Jack-bean,
• Blue Egyptian water lily or Nymphaea caerulea,
• Indian warrior or Pedicularis densiflora
• dwarf skullcap or Scutellaria nana
• lion’s tail or Leonotis leonurus
• maconha brava or Zornia latifolia
• lotus or Nelumbo nucifera
• Honeyweed or Leonurus sibiricus
However, studies which were conducted later depicted that several of the above mentioned compounds were not there and also significant amount of tocopherol was also discovered. This has given rise to great confusion because the knowledge in relation to the types of ingredients that are used still stays masked.
Safety and side effects
In the year 2009 it was discovered by University of the Freiburg that an energetic substance included in spice serves as analogue of synthetic cannabinoid titled CP 47,497. The analogue was given the name cannabicyclohexanol.
There is no study of official status which has been conducted for finding out the effects produced by synthetic cannabinoids upon humans. But reports have been published which contain information in relation to patients who have taken synthetic cannabinoids. However, it has been noticed that side effects which are experienced by patients such as hypertension, myocardial infarction and tachycardia are of severe nature. Other noted side effects are being mentioned below
• panic attacks
Individuals who require emergency medical treatment after the use of these products show the following symptoms.
• high blood pressure,
• Fast heartbeat,
• blurred vision,
• heart attack
• acute psychosis
• epileptic seizure
A death is also linked with the over dosing of these products and in the year 2013 in Colorado three (3) deaths were reported and they were investigated for having links with synthetic cannabinoids. In year 2012 a girl after taking synthetic cannabinoids faced several strokes and it resulted into brain damage and she turned blind as well as paralyzed.
The severity of the associated side effects can be linked with the point that a number of these products act as agonists to CB1R as well CB2R, they act as full agonists whereas THC acts as partial agonist. Studies supporting the relationship between synthetic cannabinoids and psychosis are present. This is a point which should be kept in mind by the physicians. In short, the use of these products has a number of advantages, but risks are also there so you cannot reach any conclusion till a good research is carried out.