Due to all the legal cannabis available in America today, it seemed that maybe the whole “spice,” or synthetic cannabis, craze, was finally over. Spice, or K2, was originally touted as a healthy alternative to marijuana, before this was completely debunked and the drug was made illegal. But unfortunately, the other day over two dozen people got sent to a Mississippi hospital due to the drug.
This happened over Easter weekend, when 26 people were sent to the University of Mississippi Medical Center with extreme symptoms of being poisoned. The diagnoses was spice overdose, and the drug is also reported to have killed someone from the group treated. Also, 28 people reported being poisoned, which means that two people who were affected did not make it to the ER, but were still in such bad shape that they had to call poison control. This is just one isolated incident in the U.S., but it represents how dangerous the drug can be overall.
Dr. Robert Galli, who works as a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and executive director of TelEmergency, reported that the drug "causes very significant adverse health consequences involving emergency care and hospitalization.” Apparently, those who showed up at the hospital over Easter week appeared agitated and were hyperactive and sweating in the best case scenario, and comatose in the worse. Some were also suffering rhabdomyolysis, which is rapid breakdown of muscle tissue.
The drug, most commonly called “spice,” but also sometimes known as K-2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Scooby Snax, Anthrax, Mojo, Skunk and Moon Rock, used to be marketed as the “safe” alternative to weed before the anti-prohibition movement really took hold. The sad reality is, this substance is actually much, much more dangerous than weed. Usually, packets of spice contain a mixture of synthetic compounds derived from cannabis that can be very harmful. Luckily, the drug is not illegal in many places and has been taken off the shelves, but some people still seek it out on the black market. This turn of favor from synthetic cannabis to the real deal marks one of the most ironic in history, and because of those suffering from trying the drug, one of the most darkly ironic.
The reason people often still try and get spice is because it is much stronger than cannabis; while it also heightens perception, causes relaxation, and other positives, it does so to the extreme. Apparently, the drug can be 100 times stronger than THC, the active psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. While this may sound like a good time, it is not. Having a cannabis-related drug this strong comes with negative side effects, as made clear earlier.
"Some of the patients we've seen over the weekend have said, 'This is not like anything else we've used before,' " Galli stated in an interview with The Clarion-Ledger.
This is clearly a very dangerous drug, and something that should be avoided and educated against at all costs. Thankfully, because legal marijuana is becoming much more prevalent, there is less of a need for turning to to something like this in order to relax and recreate. And thanks to new advantages like Marijuana Health Tips, it will be easier to get honest and true information about legal cannabis as well as the synthetic pretenders to it that can be harmful when ingested.
If you know someone who has tried spice and is in danger of overdosing, you are urged by the The Department of Health to call your local poison control center. This is a dangerous substance, and not one that should be embraced by the legal cannabis industry.