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May 2015

Makers of designer drugs that are chemically similar to marijuana’s active ingredient THC—called synthetic cannabinoids or colloquially “synthetic marijuana” or “synthetic pot”—are constantly creating new products to evade legal bans on older compounds. Despite the similarity on the molecular level, these drugs are much more dangerous than marijuana, and have resulted in very serious health consequences including overdoses and aggressive or suicidal behavior in users.

Some new compounds have recently emerged that are sending many users to the hospital in cities around the country. They include:

  • AB-PINACA, AB-FUBINACA (sold as “Cloud 9,” “Relax,” or “Crown”) is sold as a liquid in eyedropper bottles and often used with vaporizing devices—e-cigarettes or “hookah pens.” Numerous hospitalizations in Michigan prompted the Macomb County Health Department to issue an emergency warning and ban on the sale of these drugs, which are reported to cause hallucinations, aggressive behavior, racing heartbeat, drowsiness, and vomiting.
  • MAB-CHMINACA, ADB-CHMINACA (sold as “Mojo,” “Spice,” “K2,” and “Scooby Snax”) resulted in over 150 hospital visits in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, LA in October, prompting the governor to ban the drug in that state. It is reported to cause severe agitation, anxiety, and paranoia; raised heartbeat and blood pressure; nausea and vomiting; muscle spasms, seizures, and tremors; intense hallucinations and psychotic episodes, including suicidal fixations and other harmful thoughts.

Read more about "K2" and "Spice" synthetic cannabinnoids