Drugs & Health Blog

How Is Spice Made?

The NIDA Blog Team

A lot of the time, Spice (sometimes called “fake marijuana” or K2) is packaged and sold as a mixture of harmless “natural” herbal or plant ingredients. But though Spice products may contain dried plants (like tea leaves), what makes them a drug are the synthetic (man-made) chemicals the plant material is coated with.  

Those chemicals are anything but “natural,” and the number of them keeps growing: in 2009, two synthetic chemicals were found in Spice; in 2012, that number had climbed to 57.

What Chemicals Are in Spice? 

You just can’t know for sure.

The director of a poison control center said this about the chemicals in Spice: “These are literally laboratory chemicals, they have nothing to do with marijuana....This is not pharmaceutical grade anything.”

Even when officials do figure it out and make the chemicals illegal, the Spice makers just start using different chemicals. Then whenever new laws make the new chemicals illegal, the producers change the chemicals again. There seems to be an endless supply of nasty chemicals they can put in these products.  

But What We Do Know, Isn’t Good

Spice makers will sometimes coat the leaves with roach spray, like Raid, to help cover up other chemicals that might be traceable to the Spice producer. A chemical used in the early days of Spice production, JWH 018, is so dangerous it’s been labeled as toxic poison. 

If you don’t know what it’s made of, there’s no way to predict what it will do to you. As one expert said, “Who knows what dose [Spice users] are getting. One time you get a little tingly, the next time you're in ICU....It's kind of Russian Roulette, really."

It’s a gamble more people seem to be losing. In 2010, Poison Control Centers got over 2,900 calls involving Spice; in 2015, by June 3, they had received almost 7,000 calls about it. The majority of the calls were about people having a stroke or seizure because Spice spiked their heart rate. Spice can cause reactions even worse than that: paralysis, kidney damage, brain damage...the list goes on.

Bottom line, if you’re offered the chance to get high off of “fake marijuana,” keep in mind that nobody can say what’s in the batch of Spice you end up with. And do you really want to trust what a drug dealer says? You may get more than you bargained for, and not in a good way.

Tags: 
K2/Spice
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Comments

During my drug use i found this to be extremely addictiv! Clean for nearly 2 years now. Appreciate your informative posts.
lol..
same
I smoked spice regularly while it was legal but have not used it since.has their been any studies on the long term effects?

There have been no studies on the long term effects of “Spice”—in part because this is not just one specific drug. Spice is basically a plant that is sprayed with chemicals to product a “high,” but the chemicals used are not consistent. However, smoking any potentially toxic chemicals for a long period of time could cause damage to the lungs and mouth, not to mention the brain. Because the chemical composition of many products sold as Spice is unknown, it is likely that some varieties also contain substances that could cause dramatically different effects than the user might expect. Will you have problems because you smoked it in the past? We just don’t know. Congratulations on having the intelligence to stop. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/k2spice-synthetic-marijuana

what if u just dont care
then you propably end up in hospital?

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