Seth Fitzgerald from The Drug Classroom and addiction therapist Glen Marshall explore synthetic cannabinoids which were made popular in the media by their commercial name Spice, K2, along with many others. This class of substance appears to have a moderate potential for abuse as well as a high potential for undesirable and dangerous effects due to the widely varying mixture used to create the final products. Synthetic cannabinoids have resulted in a number of deaths and hospitalizations as a result of the extremely potent and unpredictable compounds used to make them as well as the varying and unregulated degree of each concentration. These drugs are inexpensive, targeted and vulnerable populations, and are difficult to detect making them another unintended consequence of prohibition based policies where more moderate compounds like cannabis are replaced with more potent and dangerous ones in the name of profit.
Synthetic cannabinoids appear to have a terrible safety profile and while an objective position is warranted in evaluating all drugs, there seems to be very little to warrant choosing these potentially deadly compounds over more benign substances like natural cannabis where casual or recreational use is concerned. The term “synthetic marijuana” and even its association with natural marijuana is a complete misnomer and should not be used as it promotes the belief that the two substances have similar effects and safety profiles which for more naive users may have deadly consequences. Glen also talks about the first step in quitting drugs and addiction as well as Students for Sensible Drug Policy and his recent moves in advocacy towards improving drug education in secondary schools.