Sara Bellum
February 4 2011
Image courtesy of Coolidge Youth Coalition

Spice—also known as K2, Fake Marijuana, Skunk, and other names—is a synthetic (or man-made) substance made from shredded dried plant materials and chemicals.  Spice appears to stimulate the same brain receptors—molecules that recognize specific chemicals and transmit messages into cells—as marijuana does and produces a similar “high.”

Like marijuana, Spice is usually abused by smoking, but it can be prepared as a drink.

Because Spice is marketed as being “natural,” some people may think it’s safe to use.  But the ingredients used to make Spice can vary, and no one’s watching to see what people producing Spice are using—meaning the results could have dangerous effects on your body and brain.  Some mixtures even contain harmful metal residues.

Nothing Nice

Spice is illegal in the United States and in most European countries.  The U.S. Naval Academy recently expelled seven midshipmen for using it.

Spice products are labeled “not fit for human consumption” and are illegal in the United States and most European countries. Its side effects, like the ingredients, often vary, but emergency rooms report seeing people with rapid heart rates, vomiting, agitation, and hallucinations.

Using Spice can lead to abuse and even addiction as the body builds up tolerance to the drug’s effects over time and craves a higher dose to achieve the same effect.

So, SBB’s recommendation?  Get your highs the natural way: exercise, friends, music, whatever you like to do—without altering your brain’s chemistry!

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