(NaturalNews) A new product is being sold in convenience stores, smoke shops, and other places around the country called "Spice" or "K2." It`s sold as an incense, but is considered a marijuana alternative to many - who smoke it as if it were cannabis. While it claims to be natural and made of only herbs, the concoction is actually a lot less than natural. These are synthetic compounds made in laboratories by Big Pharma to mimic THC.
These products have been on the market for some time in Europe, though they are now banned in several countries, but have only recently arrived in North America. They`ve been making headlines recently as various jurisdictions consider their legality.
So What`s Really in Spice/K2? The packets sold all have ingredients lists that include many herbs such as Baybean or Siberian Motherwort (among others). These lists of ingredients, however, are not exhaustive; as anything not sold for human consumption is not required to list all ingredients. The active ingredient that gives the Spice its marijuana-like high is a synthetic THC. Most often, this is a compound called JWH-018, though in Germany many packets have used another called CP-47,497.
These are synthetic THC chemicals made in laboratories, originally, for use in cannabinoid receptor testing. JWH-018 is one of over a hundred synthetic THC compounds created by Clemson University organic chemist Professor John W. Huffman for use as an in-vitro (non-human/animal) reaction test for the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CP-47,497 was made in Europe by Pfizer for similar use.
CB1 and CB2 are receptors in the human body`s nervous system that respond to cannabinoids, both from marijuana and from those naturally made by most mammals. These receptors respond to types of THC in different ways. CB1 is where most psychoactive reactions are thought to take place while CB2 is believed to be where reactions to inflammation and pain reduction happen. Naturally-occurring cannabis plants generally affect both receptors about equally.
What Do These Synthetic THCs Do? Users of the drugs usually report a high similar to that received when smoking marijuana purchased on the street. The high is not as long-lasting as the real thing, however, which prompts many to continue using it to prolong the effects. This is what likely leads to a buildup of negative reactions.
The trouble is that both JWH-018 and CP-47,497 were both created in the lab for use in laboratory testing; and nothing more. They have never been tested in humans and were never meant to be.
Many doctors are concerned and have seen patients in emergency rooms with various symptoms that would normally be attributed to a caffeine overdose or the use of psychoactive uppers like methamphetamine or cocaine. One doctor in Utah says that when school started, he began seeing patients who were adversely affected by Spice and K2. Symptoms include both over-stimulation (high heart rates, shallow breathing) and psychosis such as paranoia and hearing voices.
What NaturalNews Readers Should Note The legality or the use of the drug aside, the real object of note for NaturalNews readers is that the active ingredients in Spice and K2, whatever the label says, are anything but natural. These are synthetic compounds made in laboratories by Big Pharma to mimic THC. They were never made or tested for human consumption.
Given Big Pharma`s track record on things they have created for human consumption, it should be plainly obvious that something they`ve created that wasn`t meant for ingestion is going to be even less healthy.
Aaron Turpen is a professional writer living in Wyoming in the USA. His blogs cover organic/sustainable living and environmental considerations (AaronsEnvironMental.com) and the science debunking mainstream medical and proving alternatives (HiddenHealthScience.com).