Is Spice Safer than Marijuana?

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Spice is a type of synthetic marijuana that gives users a similar high. Yet just because it’s “fake” does not mean that it’s any less dangerous. As a matter of fact, Spice is more dangerous than weed and has a wide range of severe effects that include seizures, heart palpitations, fever, dehydration and even psychotic episodes.

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Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/NebulaHaze

What’s the Difference Between the Two?

Marijuana comes from the leaves and flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant, otherwise known as the hemp plant. The dried, shredded leaves are often smoked, and the compound THC is what gives users a “high” feeling. Though marijuana can be addictive and is abused by some, it generally does not make people sick.

Spice is a whole different story. It’s made from various chemical compounds and is very easy to manufacture. The DEA has taken steps to ban the chemicals used to make Spice, but different versions have come out over the years. As much as law enforcement tries to keep up, illegal street chemists seem to be one step ahead.

What Makes Spice So Dangerous?

Marijuana is by no means considered safe, but Spice takes things to a whole new level. Cannabis is a natural substance, whereas synthetic marijuana comes from a basil or oregano type plant and is sprayed with chemicals to give users the “high” effect.

When a person obtains a package of synthetic marijuana – which might be sold in a head shop, gas station or small grocery store – they have no idea of what they are getting. The chemical compounds are not regulated, so users don’t know what types of chemicals are contained in the batch or their quantity.

Most of the chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana were never intended for human consumption in the first place but rather for use in a laboratory. Not only can these compounds have harmful effects on the brain and body, but also they have deadly interactions when combined with other drugs, including legal and illegal substances and alcohol.

What if I Know Someone Using Spice?

Synthetic marijuana is contributing to the growing problem of designer drugs. The fact that they are accessible and legal doesn’t make the situation any easier. However, you can help by sharing information about the dangers of Spice. It is NOT the same as marijuana and is actually more dangerous and harmful. Also, if you know someone who may be using synthetic drugs, encourage them to connect with a treatment center such as The River Source.