Synthetic Marijuana Causes 16 Overdoses in Houston on Thursday.

The Houston Fire Department responded to calls about people appearing to have “altered states of mind” in the notorious “Kush Corner” on Thursday around 2:30. The area of Hermann Park is well known for its synthetic marijuana use and packets of the fake pot were found throughout the park. When the emergency responders first showed up they found dozens of people who needed hospitalization. Many appeared to have overdosed on synthetic marijuana and paramedics had taken 16 people away in ambulances before the day was over. Houston, TX has been plagued with bizarre incidents involving synthetic marijuana use. One incident where two men attacked and shot at their neighbors when they found a piece of cold chicken on the lawn during a BBQ. Another incident was deadly when a man beat, stabbed, and choked his girlfriend to death during an argument after allegedly smoking a bad batch of synthetic marijuana. The city of Houston has multiple lawsuits against local shops selling the drug. Many fear that this is just the beginning of the synthetic marijuana overdoses they could see this summer.

 

What is Synthetic Marijuana?

Synthetic Marijuana or Synthetic cannabinoids refers to a man-made mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed on shredded plant material so they can be smoked. The chemicals are called cannabinoids because they are related to the chemicals found in the marijuana plant. Many users of the synthetic drug believe it is a safe alternative to real marijuana. In fact, the chemically sprayed shredded planet material effect on the brain can be more powerful than marijuana, their actual effects can be unpredictable, and even cause hallucinations, panic, and violent outburst of rage. Many of the packets containing the drug are labeled “Not for Human Consumption”, and claim to have “natural” material. However, the only parts of these products that are natural are the dried planet materials. The chemicals that are sprayed onto the drug are made in laboratories.  Easy access and the belief that synthetic cannabinoid products are “natural” and therefore harmless have likely contributed to their use among young people. Another reason for their use is that standard drug tests cannot easily detect many of the chemicals used in these products. 

Where is synthetic marijuana sold?

For many years’ synthetic pot could easily be purchased in drug paraphernalia store, gas stations, and through the internet. Authorities deemed the chemicals to have no medical benefit and had a high potential for abuse so they banned the sale and possession of these chemicals. Many were packaged with catchy names like Black Mamba and Kush. Two of the most notorious products were K2 and Spice. However, manufacturers try to sidestep these laws by changing the chemical formulas in their mixtures. Creating new, even more powerful synthetic drugs.

Effects synthetic marijuana has on the brain.

The chemicals in the synthetic pot act on the same brain cell receptors as THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Some researches believe that the chemicals bind more strongly than marijuana does, which produces a stronger effect. Because the chemical composition of many synthetic cannabinoid products is unknown and may change from batch to batch, these products are likely to contain substances that cause dramatically different effects than the user might expect.Some users of the synthetic drug have reported elevated moods, relaxation, altered perceptions, symptoms of psychosis, extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and even hallucinations. Other health effects reported are rapid heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, and suicidal thoughts.

Are synthetic marijuana addictive?

Yes, synthetic marijuana can be addictive.

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