Synthetic pot is not pot and it can kill you, so be careful

Seventy cases of severe bleeding and at least two deaths have been linked to synthetic cannabinoids, also known as “spice” or “K2.” While the contaminated products have only been found in Illinois, health officials warn they could be statewide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now warning people to stay away from all forms of synthetic cannabinoids for their own health and safety.

What is synthetic weed?

Synthetic cannabinoids are not cannabis at all, despite dishonest marketing ploys. They’re a manmade product, aptly described by Leafly as a “cannabis doppelganger.”

Manufacturers spray unregulated, mind-altering chemicals on dried plant materials, which gives them a slightly similar look to marijuana. They also act on the same receptors in the brain. However, studies show synthetic cannabinoids can have deleterious impacts. They can also be contaminated with chemicals such as rat poison, which appears to be the case in Illinois.

Why do people use synthetic cannabinoids in the first place?

Spice is a popular alternative to marijuana in places where real cannabis is scarce or prohibited. It can also be used by those wishing to avoid a negative drug test.

How can people protect themselves?

Check out this guide on how you can differentiate synthetic cannabinoids from the real thing and (hopefully) avoid fake weed altogether. Oh, and never ever buy your pot from a gas station.