Cannabis is one of the most widely used drugs in Indonesia. Compared to other recreational drugs, the effect of marijuana is indeed considered the most benign and has the smallest health risk. But this is not the case with the new "sister", synthetic marijuana that was recently popular. The effect of synthetic marijuana is far more dangerous than traditional marijuana - even proven deadly.
What is synthetic marijuana?
Even though it has the same name, synthetic marijuana is not marijuana. Synthetic marijuana is a mixture of industrial chemicals that are sprayed on dried leaves and ordinary grass pieces, wrapped in such a way and sold under various pseudonyms - from Hanoman, Ganesha, Thunderbear, Cap Badak, to the best-known Cap Gorilla. Not infrequently synthetic marijuana is traded as hand-rolled unbranded tobacco cigarettes.
Synthetic marijuana is included in a group of drugs called "new psychoactive substances" belonging to the category 1 narcotics category. The new psychoactive substance is a type of unregulated psychoactive drug available on the market and intended to copy the effects of illegal drugs. In this case, synthetic marijuana mimics the effects of traditional marijuana. But synthetic marijuana can show its effects up to hundreds of times stronger than just THC in ordinary marijuana.
Even John W. Huffman, the pioneering scientist who created synthetic marijuana does not recommend lay people to consume these compounds. Basically synthetic marijuana was created not for human consumption.
Where does this synthetic marijuana come from?
This compound was originally designed for the last 20 years by John William Huffman, a Harvard graduate and professor of organic chemistry at Clemson University, for medical reasons to investigate the effects of marijuana on research animals in controlled laboratories. But this compound was never intended for human consumption or evaluated for human safety.
In 2008 after the publication of his work, one type of synthetic marijuana called JWH-018 suddenly appeared thousands of miles away in a German forensic laboratory. They named it "Spice" and distributed it to customers who were curious about this new marijuana.
Sadly, present-day marijuana is very easy and quick to make, also relatively cheap in its production costs. So it didn't take long for the city to take advantage of these opportunities and open a new market for synthetic marijuana.
What are the effects of consuming synthetic marijuana?
The chemicals contained in present-day marijuana work like THC, a natural psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. Both THC and synthetic chemical compounds bind to the CB1 receptor system in your brain to produce euphoric effects (very happy sensations).
However, synthetic marijuana has more frightening destructive power than the original marijuana it tries to imitate, often at very low doses. Its effects include vomiting, chest pain, dizziness, increased heart rate, blackening of vision, headache, kidney damage, pain, confusion, pupil enlargement, seizures, involuntary limb movements (twitching), blackened vision, decreased potassium levels in the blood, and increased glucose. The use of synthetic marijuana has also been linked to behavioral changes (anger, anger), hallucinations, and symptoms of psychosis. In some cases, the effect can cause strokes, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, acute heart failure, heart attack, or even death.
What's more, you can't really ascertain the specifics of the chemicals contained in it, let alone the doses of each mixture so that the effects can be different - either between brands, or even between groups of the same brand . The K2 phenomenon, the American version of synthetic marijuana, at least made 33 people in Brooklyn hospitalized because of an overdose. In Australia, this new marijuana is responsible for the death of a teenager 17 years due to an overdose. Even though the record of traditional marijuana overdose in various parts of the world is very rare, almost practically nothing.
In some people, the effect of this new kind of marijuana makes them behave like undead. Last July 2016, a number of pedestrians in New York reported strange views on the roadside. CCTV footage and video of witnesses showed a group of men who sat sluggishly in chairs with blank stares, while others were dazed and roaming around. A man even looks dancing while prancing with a bowling ball. The others walked down while dragging bicycles. There is absolutely no sign of life on their faces, like a scene in a Hollywood zombie movie.
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