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K2 - Synthetic Marijuana

What is K2?

K2, also called Spice or synthetic marijuana, is dried plant material, sometimes ground potpourri, sprayed with chemicals that stimulate the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. K2 is sold in small packets, often called potpourri or incense, and carries a label that says “Not for Human Consumption.” K2 may be labeled Moon Rocks, Dead Man Walking, Crazy Clown, 3X, or other names.

Several chemicals often found in K2 are classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule 1 substance, which means it is illegal to buy them, sell them to others, or possess them. While many forms of synthetic marijuana chemicals are illegal, others have been altered just enough to evade the law and can still be bought in stores and online.

K2 synthetic marijuana

What does K2 do?

K2 is often described as “natural” and a safe, legal alternative to marijuana, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the consumption of K2 can cause very dangerous results. When K2 is smoked, the chemicals increase heart rate, may cause hallucinations, aggressive or violent behavior, and in some cases users experience psychosis and kidney damage.

What are the risks of K2?

Because K2 is illegal and not regulated, what is sold can contain any number of harmful chemicals. K2 is much stronger than natural marijuana so the reaction in the cannabinoid receptors can be many hundreds of times more dangerous. There have been reports of seizures, heart attacks, and even suicide among people who have used K2. What is sold as K2 may also contain other chemicals or drugs that could cause harm. Since it is illegal to buy, sell, or possess K2, there are legal risks in addition to the health effects.

To learn more about K2, check out this page from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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