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Dangers of Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as Spice, fake weed, Kronic, or K2, are addictive substances that are not derived from naturally occurring cannabis. With the growing legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, addiction to these human-made chemicals is on the rise. Unfortunately, due to variances in chemical ingredients and concentrations from batch to batch, synthetic cannabinoids side effects can be severe and unpredictable. If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to synthetic cannabinoids, read on to learn more about the dangers of their use and how you can find treatment.

What Do Synthetic Cannabinoids Contain That Makes Them So Dangerous?

Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) can contain a range of substances, which may vary greatly from batch to batch. Generally, SCs contain a combination of plant matter, herbs, and synthetic compounds that are similar in molecular structure to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s psychoactive component. Due to their molecular similarity to THC, synthetic cannabinoids are classed as a new psychoactive substance (NPS) by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Because synthetic cannabinoids are often contaminated with other substances, they often produce physical and mind-altering effects that are largely unpredictable in their severity.

What Are Synthetic Cannabinoids’ Side Effects?

Because their ingredients can vary so widely and they’re also subject to lacing with toxic substances, synthetic cannabinoids side effects can range from mild to severe. Generally, when someone takes synthetic cannabinoids, they should be prepared to experience one or more of the following side effects:

  • Delusional thinking, altered perception, or symptoms of psychosis
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Extreme paranoia or anxiety
  • Violent or suicidal behavioral tendencies
  • Rapid heart rate or vomiting

How Addictive Are Synthetic Cannabinoids?

One of the primary reasons synthetic cannabinoids, such as Spice, are so dangerous is their highly addictive nature. Because these chemical substances can produce seemingly positive feelings at first, such as elevated mood and relaxation, many users become reliant on them to feel good. Because they’re so addictive, synthetic cannabinoids can cause overdose, which is marked by the following symptoms:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Kidney damage
  • Seizures
  • Reduced cardiac blood supply
  • Toxic reactions

Due to their addictive nature, regular users who attempt to stop using SCs typically experience mild to severe marijuana withdrawal symptoms that can include:

  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Many people who use synthetic cannabinoids also struggle with co-occurring mental health issues, making the withdrawal process more severe.

Getting Treatment for Addiction to Synthetic Cannabinoids

If you or a loved one suffers from an addiction to synthetic cannabinoids, getting professional treatment is the best way to overcome your struggle with substance abuse. At Destinations for Teens, we offer a full continuum of care for addiction treatment, which includes the following programs:

We understand that addiction is a complicated struggle, and our compassionate team is here for you every step of the way as you make the journey toward recovery. We offer treatment for teens aged 13 and up and strive to provide sustainable treatment that encourages positive habit formation and lifelong recovery.

Reach Out to Destinations for Teens Today

If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please understand that help is readily available. At Destinations for Teens, we understand that asking for help can be difficult. But we also know getting the treatment you need is the first step toward reclaiming your health and achieving lifelong recovery. To learn more about our state-of-the-art facility and premier teen treatment programs, please call us today at 877.466.0620 or reach out on our contact page, and we’ll be in touch promptly.