How harmful is K2/Spice (synthetic marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids)?
Synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., synthetic marijuana, K2, Spice, Spike)—or plants sprayed with unknown chemicals—are dangerous and unpredictable. Synthetic cannabinoids are not marijuana, but like THC, they bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other organs.
Research shows that synthetic cannabinoids affect the brain much more powerfully than marijuana creating unpredictable and, in some cases, life-threatening effects including nausea, anxiety, paranoia, brain swelling, seizures, hallucinations, aggression, heart palpitations, and chest pains. For additional questions around synthetic cannabinoids, visit CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health page on synthetic marijuana or the National Institute on Drug AbuseExternal page on synthetic marijuana.
- Call 911 immediately if someone stops breathing, collapses, or has a seizure. These symptoms can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
- Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222.
- Call your doctor.
- What is marijuana?
- How is marijuana used?
- What determines how marijuana effects a person?
- Is marijuana medicine?
- Is it possible for someone to become addicted to marijuana?
- How do I know if I am addicted to marijuana?
- What are the health risks of using marijuana?
- Is it possible to “overdose” or have a “bad reaction” to marijuana?
- What are the effects of mixing marijuana with alcohol, tobacco or prescription drugs?
- How harmful is K2/Spice (synthetic marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids)?
- Does marijuana use lead to other drug use?
- Is it safe for a breastfeeding mom to use marijuana?
- Can secondhand marijuana smoke affect nonsmokers, including children?
- How is eating and drinking foods that contain marijuana (edibles) different from smoking marijuana?
- It’s legal in many states, so doesn’t that mean marijuana is safe?