Dangers of Synthetic Marijuana

The use of synthetic marijuana appears to have increased recently, despite efforts to ban it from the market because of the danger the drug poses to users. Calls to poison centers regarding synthetic marijuana rose a shocking 330 percent from January to April of 2015, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Synthetic marijuana is sold under several names, including Spice and K2, and remains on the market under the category of herbal products, as reported by HealthDay.

KC area parents should know about synthetic marijuana to best protect their teens from this dangerous substance.

Synthetic Marijuana: Not So Safe

What Exactly is Synthetic Marijuana – And What Makes it Dangerous?

These products mimic the active ingredient in marijuana when sprayed on plant material and smoked. However, they are much more dangerous than their name might suggest. 15 synthetic marijuana related deaths have occurred already in 2015, and in April alone more than 1,500 calls were made to poison control centers because of symptoms caused by the drug, says the CDC. Symptoms of the use of synthetic marijuana can include rapid heartbeat, lethargy, vomiting, confusion, and agitation. According to the CDC about 11% of callers had symptoms that were life-threatening or resulted in serious injury, while about 47% had more moderate symptoms that still required medical treatment.

Synthetic Marijuana On the RiseSynthetic Marijuana

It’s not clear why the use of synthetic marijuana is rising, but what is clear is that the health implications are very serious if more people continue to use the drug. The majority of callers to poison control centers were between 20 and 29 years old, and the majority of them were males. Part of the problem is that people don’t understand how dangerous the drug can be. People are not educated about this drug because it is relatively new. Often these products are labeled as herbal incense, which gives many people the impression that they are natural and safe, when in reality they are the opposite.

Stay Safe, KC Teens!

ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City provides tests for synthetic drugs including types of synthetic marijuana. For more information, call (816) 875-0464 today.

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