Synthetic marijuana has, for a very long time, been a dreaded “alternative” to natural marijuana. Unlike other cannabinoids extracted from marijuana or hemp sources, these were once synthesized for the sole purpose of research.
However, the widespread distribution of these toxic alternatives through different channels and among New York citizens has necessitated the use of marijuana products that you can access with a New York medical card.
While you can get these toxins from any sleazy drug dealer and dealer, medical cannabis can only be obtained from a licensed dispensary, making it legal and safe.
But before we get into why you should choose medical cannabis over synthetic, let’s learn a bit more about synthetic marijuana. Why it is feared, its side effects and why we should switch to better, cleaner and natural alternatives.
What is Synthetic Marijuana?
As the name suggests, these cannabinoids were synthesized in labs rather than coming from natural hemp or marijuana sources.
It is often a combination of naturally grown plants that are sprayed with chemicals that mimic the effects of THC, but at a much higher potency. These chemicals cause extreme psychosis in humans due to their potency.
These illicit drugs have a bunch of street names: K2, SpiceSmacked, AK-47, Ninja, Wicked, Skunk, Atomic, XXX Ultra and many more.
Why were they synthesized? For research.
John W. Huffman was the scientist who began synthesizing cannabinoids to learn more about the endocannabinoid system in humans in 1984. He worked to create terahydrocannobidol (THC) like cannabinoids – in other words, compounds capable of creating a psychoactive effect.
However, the publication of everything he researched and concluded was made available to the public, which led to the present diversion of basic research.
Currently, these synthesized cannabinoids can very easily be found on the market, smuggled and sold to college graduates. This blind circulation makes the drug even more dangerous than it already was.
The major problem is here:
- These synthetic cannabinoids are falsely labeled as legal and natural when sold to ignorant customers, often marketed as incense, potpourri, or herbal blends.
- The majority of these cannabinoids are actually controlled substances (either federally illegal or banned by various states)
- There is no limit to these cannabinoids, they seem to multiply every year
- Cannabinoids have unregulated psychoactive effects that can lead to major disabling symptoms and possibly death
- Not much is known about their effects, especially in the long term, due to their unregulated nature.
- These are highly intoxicating and addictive, and can lead to very severe withdrawal syndrome symptoms
- Early-stage drug use may be a leading cause of mental health problems and psychiatric disorders in adults
- Unlike natural marijuana which is difficult to overdose on, synthetic marijuana overdoses can land you in the ER or get poisoned.
- These cannabinoids can be up to 100 times (or more) more potent than marijuana, causing psychoactive effects beyond our control
- These cannabinoids are created to know their effects on human receptors. Its purpose is to fully activate CB receptors, whereas THC does this only partially
- Some symptoms of the use of synthetic cannabinoids are agitation, hallucination, paranoia, tremors, seizures, vomiting, chest pain, cardiac arrest, tachycardia, hypokalemia, kidney damage, psychosis, brain damage and even death
- Random bruising and bleeding are common reasons for emergency calls after consuming these cannabinoids.
Synthetic Marijuana Alternative: Choose Your High Wisely
Synthetic cannabinoids are DO NOT intended for your consumption and must be strictly limited to their academic objective. Instead, you can always opt for a strain of marijuana from a safe source that has been extracted for consumption.
A majority of states have legalized the use of cannabis to varying degrees, allowing citizens to consume high quality and safe products. New York, for its part, legalized the medicinal and recreational use (fairly recently) of the herb. This legal availability of the herb should put an end to the consumption of any synthetic cannabinoid.
But between the two, which one to choose?
Medical marijuana is definitely the best option. If you meet the medical conditions outlined by your state authorities, you can apply for a New York Medical Marijuana Card, which will allow you to own, consume, travel with (within state lines) and develop your stash without any legal vacuum.
With a medical marijuana card, you get high quality, high potency products that won’t cause an unregulated high like synthesized marijuana does. These high doses do not lead to similar levels of addiction and are not responsible for all of the side effects associated with synthetic cannabinoids.
Any cannabis product can cause some level of nausea, insomnia or anxiety if not taken in regulated doses or when a high dose is given at an early stage. However, you are not prone to bruising, bleeding, strokes, seizures, or brain damage with marijuana use.
Warning: Some states, like Oklahoma, don’t even have a set list of state-approved medical conditions that qualify for cannabis use. In these situations, you can consult your doctor directly to obtain a medical card.
To apply for a New York medical card, you must meet the following medical conditions:
- HIV/ AIDS
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- chronic pain
- Severely debilitating or life-threatening condition
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe and chronic pain
- severe nausea
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Opioid use disorder
Even if your state does not qualify for medical marijuana guidelines, you can still use cannabis recreationally. Although this limits consumption to less product variety and lower potency, they are safer options as opposed to unregulated synthetic substitutes.
To ensure that the product you buy is of high quality, you should only buy cannabis products (CBD oils, edibles or flowers with less than 0.3% THC) from approved sellers. To check if a retailer is legit, you can check the product specifications, read labels and the list of ingredients, and carefully evaluate the Certificate of Analysis (COA). The absence of a COA should be the first red flag, and the only one you need.
Synthetic marijuana is a highly intoxicating drug that causes more negative effects than positive ones. Since most of these cannabinoids are federally illegal, their consumption should be avoided at all costs.