Synthetic Weed: The Future of Marijuana?

Synthetic Cannabis THC Molecular Structure
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Synthetic Cannabis Labs
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“In medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication.”

Some of you may be thinking that those results above, cited in The Washington Post, don’t really mean anything. In fact, most people would see those numbers and simply say that cannabis is doing wonders for its patients. The pharmaceutical companies saw the complete opposite. They didn’t see a remarkable new plant that is healthy and has a wide range of medical uses. Instead, they saw the beginning to the end of the pharmaceutical big houses. How did they react to this? They decided to give us a completely genetically modified form of marijuana, otherwise known as Synthetic Cannabis.

What Is Synthetic Cannabis?

For many, this question has never come to mind. Why? A majority of people barely understand what organic, naturally grown cannabis is. Now that there is a synthetic cannabis along with organic cannabis, consumers are going to be even more confused. Synthetic cannabis is a form of marijuana that is genetically modified and created in a lab, rather than grown naturally.

Synthetic cannabis comes in many different forms. The most common and well-known form is K2 Spice. We began seeing K2 Spice about 4-5 years ago. Due to cannabis being illegal in most states at this time, K2 Spice became very popular very fast. This form of synthetic cannabis is sprayed and dried onto other plants and herbs. The spray that they are adding is what contains the “synthetic cannabis” and other chemicals. For a very long time, K2 Spice was sold legally in stores across the nation. It was commonly advertised as an alternative to marijuana. After several reported hospitalizations for the drug, it was made illegal. K2 became known for causing seizures, stomach pains, heart issues, extreme anxiety, and even death in some cases. Once K2 was taken off the market in New York, the state saw a nearly 85% decrease in hospital visits.

Cannabis Pharmaceuticals

Synthetic Cannabis THC Molecular Structure
Photo by: Bacsica/Shutterstock
Along with K2, pharmaceutical companies are now getting their feet into cannabis. The top three synthetic cannabis drugs on the market today are Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet. All three of these drugs are used and sold for the purpose of easing the symptoms of AIDS and cancer. In particular, they are supposed to help with nausea, pain, depression, and inflammation. Marinol has been around since the late 80s and was approved by the FDA in 1985 for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. This synthetic cannabis is simply a man-made form of THC. This synthetic THC has become known as Dronabinol. Marinol is still around today, but it never became very popular. The drug had problems with bioavailability and had some severe side effects. In fact, the common side effects of Marinol are abdominal pain, anxiety, confusion, depersonalization, and dysphoria.

The more interesting of the three is the newly found drug Syndros. Syndros has come about in the past few years and is bringing more questions to synthetic cannabis. This drug has been brought to market as the first FDA-approved Liquid-Dronabinol. It is used as a treatment for nausea and anxiety in cancer patients and is being used to treat weight loss in patients diagnosed with AIDS. The craziest thing about this drug is, of course, the list of side effects; but, it is also how this drug was allowed. The company that made Syndros is called Insys Therapeutics. Insys is a massive pharmaceutical company that is also well known for creating Fentanyl. Fentanyl is now being correlated back to the major opioid crisis occurring in our country.

Just recently, Insys made a $500,000 donation to an anti-cannabis organization in Arizona. The donation was made to fight the legalization of cannabis in Arizona. Of course, the bill failed and did not pass. The crazy part is 5 months later, Insys was approved by the FDA to begin manufacturing Syndros, a completely genetically altered and unnatural drug that is supposed to do the same thing as naturally grown organic cannabis. Plus, the serious side effects associated with Syndros are worsening mental symptoms, depression, schizophrenia, headaches, vision problems, and even dementia. This all sounds pretty logical, right?

What Happens Now?

 

We will continue to see the pharmaceutical companies attempt to get control of this remarkable plant. In fact, there are even companies who are trying to create a fully functioning synthetic cannabis plant. It is important that we pay attention to anyone trying to genetically modify the cannabis plant. Changes like this can cause widespread problems with naturally growing cannabis. Cannabis has never been linked to any death, so why do we feel the need to change something that is not broken? In fact, the legalization of cannabis can help us change the broken pharmaceutical system we deal with today.

Should I Be Freaking Out?

Now, this all may seem like something to be worried about, but it is just something to pay attention to. Those who educate themselves will quickly see the issues surrounding synthetic cannabis. A majority of cannabis consumers will not have anything to do with synthetic cannabis. This is why people do not predict much change coming from synthetic cannabis products. As the legalization of real cannabis spreads, we should start seeing more and more educated consumers. With education will hopefully come justice for the cannabis industry.

Article by: Justice Council