By late 2008, synthetic cannabinoids were first identified in the United States in “Spice Diamond” and “Spice Artic Energy” products. Since then, the number of compounds, alternative chemicals, AND social harms has skyrocketed.
According to SAMHSA’s report on drug-related emergency department visits involving synthetic cannabinoids, the number was ~28,500 for the year 2011. Synthetic cannabinoids appear to be more potent and may stay active in the body longer than delta-9-THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. But little is known about their effects, especially long term effects of Spice, on the body, brain, or neurological system.
Adverse effects of Spice in the body
What we do know is this. Many people describe negative experiences on Spice. In fact, a short list of the adverse effects of synthetic cannabinoids (as reported by users) can include:
- dry mouth
- fast heart rate
- heart attack
- high blood pressure
- kidney damage
- kidney failure
- lack of appetite
- redness of the eyes
- uncontrollable body movement
Physical dependence on Spice
When you use Spice frequently and for a longer period of time, your body gets accustomed to the presence of the cannabinoids it contains and develops dependence on the drug. After a while, your body starts to find it difficult to function normally without it’s regular levels of the drug. So, when you try to lower your intake or stop altogether, you will experience Spice withdrawal symptoms which can be very harsh and uncomfortable. Spice withdrawal symptoms that are most frequently reported by users, include:
- intense cravings
- loss of appetite
- profuse sweating
- psychotic episodes
- suicidal thoughts
Want to know more about Spice effects on the body?
Check out our series of Spice articles here.
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