The rise of legal marijuana has been a long and exhausting journey. While many states are either recreational or medically legalized, the federal government is not making any drastic marijuana reform anytime soon. That said, there is still a severe gap between statewide and nationwide marijuana laws. Anytime there is a gray area; it becomes risky for individual organizations to make their way into the industry. In particular, pharmaceutical companies are yet to touch the legal marijuana market in the United States due to federal law. However, there is a legal loophole many pharmaceutical companies are beginning to exploit, synthetic marijuana.
What is Synthetic Marijuana?
Synthetic marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids are a human-made genetically modified alternative to marijuana. Instead of naturally obtaining these cannabinoids from the marijuana plant, they are born in labs throughout the country. Synthetic marijuana is not new to our society. It has been around since the early 2000’s and first took hold in Europe. The purpose of synthetic marijuana or cannabinoids was to provide consumers with a legal alternative to marijuana. Instead of merely legalizing the naturally existing plant, our nation decided to make synthetic marijuana accessible to all. When consuming synthetic marijuana, there are a variety of brands available.
Synthetic Marijuana Brands:
- Scooby Snax
It’s classified as synthetic marijuana because it still affects the same cannabinoid receptors as natural cannabis. However, it is an unwanted and unnatural chemical entering the body which can cause severe side-effects. Synthetic cannabinoids are incredibly unpredictable and unregulated. It is tough to trust any of the available synthetic products coming to market. Before deciding to consumer synthetic cannabis, make sure to understand the overall side-effects.
The Effects of Synthetic Marijuana
For those who have not heard the recent gossip, some serious health issues are arising from synthetic marijuana products. Back in 2010, nearly 11,500 people went to the emergency room due to consuming synthetic marijuana. Just recently in the state of Connecticut, over 70 people went to the hospital due to synthetic marijuana. Authorities believe the synthetic product contained a powerful opioid known as fentanyl. With cases like this popping up left and right, synthetic marijuana is quickly becoming another drug epidemic throughout our nation. Just in case this article is making you curious, these are the effects of synthetic marijuana.
Effects of Synthetic Marijuana:
- Can cause agitation and irritability.
- Difficulty concentrating and enhances confusion.
- May cause hallucinations, delusion, and violent behavior
- May cause seizures.
- May cause sleepiness and dizziness.
- Gastrointestinal Damage
- Breathing Problems
- Heart Problems
These are long-term effects which are unassociated with natural marijuana. If synthetic marijuana had a commercial, its list of side-effects would take up the whole time slot. It is a shame synthetic marijuana is more accessible than quality medical marijuana, which has no known long-term effects and has been around for thousands of years.
How Long Does Synthetic Marijuana Stay in Your System?
Anyone looking to get off of synthetic marijuana would benefit from knowing how long it stays in our system. Even though there are quite a bit of different synthetic cannabinoids, there is a general idea of how long it stays in our system. On average, synthetic marijuana takes about 2 to 8 hours for our bodies to flush it out. However, there are multiple factors which play into how long a synthetic cannabinoid will stay in our system.
- Age of the consumer.
- Weight and fat content of the consumer.
- Genetic History
- The metabolic rate of the consumer.
- Renal function of the consumer.
- The duration product of use.
- Dosages Taken
Overall, it is tough to know how long synthetic marijuana will stay in the system. There are products available to help consumers detox more efficiently and effectively. Nevertheless, it may be best to simply stay away from synthetic marijuana!
Is Synthetic Marijuana Legal?
Not all synthetic marijuana is legal. The federal government has recently banned various synthetic cannabinoids. However, instead of making all synthetic marijuana illegal, companies are told to change specific ingredients rather than the chemically produced cannabinoids. In other words, all a synthetic marijuana brand has to do, is alter their ingredients and throw “not for human consumption” on the package. The synthetic cannabinoid market is unregulated and has many hazards on our society.
Cons of Synthetic Marijuana:
- There are no quality standards for making, packaging, or selling synthetic marijuana. Two bags of the same product could contain different ingredients.
- The dosages of each synthetic cannabinoid can vary per batch.
- There is no lab-testing required, and synthetic marijuana can easily contain other harmful ingredients.
Some of you may be thinking, how in the hell are any synthetic marijuana drugs legal? It is a great question which many people struggle to answer. Either way, it is the world we live in, and all we can do is be educated consumers and remove the demand for these products as much as possible. Like many other industries, synthetic marijuana is a market all about the money. It is up to us, the consumers, to regulate this unethical sector.
Are There any Beneficial Synthetic Marijuana Drugs?
Synthetic marijuana is a touchy subject in the world of legal cannabis. Most people think of synthetic marijuana as the K2 drug and Spice which is available in head shops, convenience stores, and local grocers. However, as we begin to learn more and more about the natural marijuana plant, we are seeing a plethora of scientific research taking place. At the moment, there are only a few synthetic marijuana drugs on the market aside from the usual K2 or Spice. One massive pharmaceutical company, Insys, recently obtained FDA approval for the production of a new synthetic marijuana drug.
Insys was FDA approved to begin production on a synthetic THC formulation called Syndros. Syndros is said to help with nausea and vomiting in patients going through cancer treatment or AIDS. Like any other pharmaceutical drug, there is a list of side-effects paired with Syndros. While this synthetic cannabinoid may be providing patients with a similar relief as natural marijuana, it is still a humanmade compound unnatural to our bodies. If we see chemically modified cannabinoids working some magic, could you imagine what the natural cannabinoids could do! Before hopping on the “legal” and “FDA approved” bandwagon, understand who Insys is and why they are making a synthetic marijuana drug.
Quick Notes About Insys:
- Insys is the pharmaceutical manufacturer of the widely-known opioid, Fentanyl. Fentanyl is one of the primary drugs listed in causing the opioid epidemic throughout our nation. Insys is under federal investigation into its aggressive marketing of Fentanyl to the public.
- Insys donated $500,000 to an organization in Arizona who was opposing marijuana legalization in the state. Their campaign won in 2017 and halted legalization.
- After helping to oppose legalization in Arizona, the FDA approved Insy for the production of Syndros, a synthetic cannabinoid.
Syndros is a valid option for specific patients. However, the primary question still lies; why not just ingest natural cannabinoids? Synthetic cannabinoids are a perfect example of “don’t fix whats not broken.” Medical marijuana is where the real therapeutic potential is at, not in a pharmaceutical company looking for their next big cash-drug. Especially, an organization like Insys who seems to stall federal and state legalization for their individual benefit.
There is nothing wrong with scientific development and enhancements, but when it comes to marijuana the more natural, the better! It is tough to tell consumers to trust a synthetic drug instead of merely finding some quality cannabis. For those consumers who think synthetic cannabinoids are their only option, hope online and order some quality hemp-derived CBD products instead. Until we see further research and development of synthetic marijuana, it may be best to stay away from them entirely!
Stay tuned on the future of synthetic marijuana, here!