Marijuana has been a popular recreational drug among Americans for decades. Recently, however, new forms of marijuana known generally as synthetic marijuana have been developed. These new drugs pose unique risks to their users, and drug dependence among young people has risen as a result of their popularity. Despite the efforts of law enforcement agencies to criminalize these drugs, new forms of dangerous synthetic marijuana continue to be released.
Fortunately, marijuana dependence treatment options exist to help drug abusers achieve permanent sobriety. Tampa synthetic marijuana treatment centers can help a friend or loved one suffering from a dependency upon synthetic marijuana by advising them of their treatment options.
Natural marijuana, or cannabis, is a Schedule I drug in the United States. Under federal law, cannabis is grouped with many of the most addictive and dangerous drugs as an illicit substance. Partly as a result of the illegality of cannabis, alternative synthetic forms of marijuana have been developed in an attempt to skirt federal law. Unlike normal marijuana, however, synthetic marijuana commonly contains chemical additives that are sprayed onto dry plant material to induce psychoactive effects in the user. These compounds are designed to mimic the effects of the THC found in cannabis.
The effects most commonly reported by users include relaxation and a sense of altered perception. These effects are also regularly experienced by cannabis users. However, synthetic marijuana use has also caused bouts of anxiety and paranoia, often accompanied by hallucinations. The abuse of the drug has also led to hospital and poison control center visits. Abusers have reported instances of rapid heart rate, vomiting, and increased blood pressure. Some of the conditions caused by abuse can lead to a reduction of blood flow to the heart, and a few reports of heart attack have been made in connection with the drug.
The drug's effects are often far stronger than those of normal marijuana. The dangers posed by synthetic marijuana are also relatively unpredictable. In an effort to avoid legal consequences, manufacturers of spice often change the chemical compounds sprayed onto their products. As a result, synthetic marijuana production is unregulated and results in products that are potentially dangerous to their users.