K2 and Spice are street names used to refer to synthetic marijuana. Although this drug is not natural, it is much more harmful and potent than marijuana. For instance, it can cause you to suffer psychosis, severe anxiety, seizures, and death. The substance is also highly addictive and can lead to the development of unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal.
Even so, you may start abusing this drug because it stimulants effects that are similar to natural marijuana. When you do so, you could start referring to it by its common names, including fake weed, synthetic cannabis, and synthetic marijuana. However, you need to realize that it often contains harmful chemicals that could turn out to be fatal.
K2/Spice is a synthetic cannabinoids. However, these substances do not contain any marijuana. Instead, they are produced using a wide variety of man-made chemicals that are engineered to produce effects that are similar to what you would experience if you abused THC, the primary psychoactive agent in marijuana.
These synthetic cannabinoids act on the brain receptors that are affected when you abuse marijuana. However, they are much more potent than marijuana. For this reason, they can cause you to suffer extreme physical and psychological reactions.
Often, K2/Spice are sprinkled or sprayed on dried blends of herbs and plants for smoking. They resemble potpourri, herbal tobacco, or marijuana. However, you can also find them in liquid form that you can vape.
These products are often sold in colorful and shiny plastic bottles and pouches. These packages are emblazoned with such catchy names as Black Mamba, Scooby Snax, Blue Giant, and Matrix. Some people also sell it with misleading names such as potpourri and herbal incense.
Other Names for K2/Spice
To avoid detection by law enforcement officials and other authorities, people typically refer to synthetic marijuana by a wide variety of street names. These include but are not limited to:
- Black Mamba
- Black Voodoo
- Bombay Blue
- Cloud 9
- Fake Weed
- Galaxy Gold
- Green Giant
- Herbal Incense
- Legal Cannabis
- Mary Mack
- Moon Rocks
- Nice Guy
- Red X Blend
- Red X Dawn
- Scooby Snax
- Sky High
- Solar Flare
- Spice Gold
- Spice Silver
- Wicked X
- Yucatan Fire
Signs and Symptoms of K2/Spice Addiction
If you continue abusing K2/Spice or synthetic marijuana, you may develop physical and psychological dependence and addiction. The mind altering properties of this drug are similar to those that you would experience when you abuse marijuana.
When you become addicted to K2/Spice, you may start displaying some of the classical signs and symptoms of a substance use disorder. These symptoms include but are not limited to:
- A shift in your personality
- Aggressive behavior
- Agitated delirium
- Alterations in your emotional processing
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in cognitive functioning
- Creative thinking
- Decline in your ability to fulfill your obligations at school, work, and home
- Decreased interest in anything that does not involve the use of this drug
- Depressed mood
- Dissociation or feeling that you are outside your body, the present time, or the given space
- Elevated heart rate (or tachycardia)
- Elevated mood
- Erratic behavior
- Extreme paranoia
- Feeling of clumsiness
- Feelings of happiness and well-being
- Financial troubles due to ongoing drug abuse
- Inability to stop taking the drug
- Increased secrecy
- Increased time spent over the internet on drug abuse forums
- Kidney disease
- Legal issues linked to k2/spice abuse
- Mood swings
- New-onset psychosis
- Poor physical coordination
- Possible weight fluctuations
- Profound confusion
- Rhabdomyolysis (or a breakdown of muscle tissue).
- Severe agitation
- Sleeping at odd hours
- Social withdrawal
- Suicidal ideation
- Tachycardia that escalates to such cardiac complications as heart attacks
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- Tolerance to these drugs
- Using higher doses of k2/spice or for longer than you intended
- Using k2/spice even when you know that it has been causing undesired physical, psychological, emotional, and social consequences
- Using the drug even in situations that could turn out to be potentially hazardous
- Withdrawal symptoms when you stop abusing the drug
Short and Long-Term Effects of K2/Spice Abuse
Although K2/Spice can produce relaxing and euphoric effects that are similar to what you would experience if you abused marijuana, it tends to be more unpredictable and powerful than marijuana.
It is also possible for you to suffer a bad reaction after taking this drug. Further, you could go into drug overdose that could lead to permanent organ damage and fits of psychosis. Other effects of abusing this drug include:
- Altered perception
- Delusional thinking
- Dry mouth
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Improved mood
- Increased anxiety
- Kidney damage
- Loss of control
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle tremors
- Permanent brain damage
- Profuse sweating
- Psychotic episodes
- Rapid heart rate
- Red eyes
- Severe agitation
- Suicidal thoughts and actions
- Sweating heavily
- Unexplained bruising or bleeding
The DEA ? the Drug Enforcement Administration ? reports that K2/Spice can stay in your system for a relatively long period of time. For this reason, the long term effects of this substance are yet unknown.
However, if you overdose on this drug, you may suffer the following effects:
- Increased heart rate
- Repeated vomiting
- Suicidal tendencies
- Violent behavior
Overdosing on synthetic marijuana could also result in dangerous behaviors that could lead you to put yourself in a risky situation, which may potentially lead to harm and even death.
For this reason, it is recommended that you seek emergency medical assistance as soon as you realize that you may be suffering a drug overdose. Do so by calling 911 or your local poisons control center.
K2/Spice Withdrawal Symptoms
If you continue abusing K2/Spice in the long term, you may develop a substance use disorder. This means that you will suffer some withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking this drug or significantly reduce your normal dose of it. Examples of these symptoms include:
- Drug cravings
- Elevated blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
Due to these symptoms, you may find yourself abusing synthetic marijuana again ? especially because some of them might prove to be too difficult for you to handle. For this reason, it is recommended that you only stop taking the drug after checking into a medically managed detox program. This is the only way you can reduce your risk of relapse.
The Best Options for K2/Spice Addiction Treatment
K2/Spice is like any other powerful drug in the sense that you can develop a substance use disorder after taking it for some time. This means that you will often suffer some withdrawal symptoms ? such as those listed above ? when you stop taking the drug. Even though you may have had bad experiences with the substance, these symptoms could keep you looking for more of it.
The only way to stop abusing K2/Spice is by checking into a professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation program. Often, the program might use benzodiazepines like Ativan and Valium to deal with the anxiety, agitation, and seizures you suffer during your withdrawal.
After you have been through a medically managed detox program to manage K2/Spice withdrawal, it is recommended that you seek treatment either on an inpatient or an outpatient basis.
Inpatient treatment would be ideal if you have a severe substance use disorder involving synthetic marijuana. It can also address various other aspects of your addiction, including behavioral changes and mental health disorders that co-occur with K2/Spice abuse.
You can also seek outpatient treatment. This type of drug rehab is recommended if you have a relatively mild or new substance use disorder that does not require residential rehabilitation.
The important thing is to ensure that you stay in the addiction treatment and rehabilitation program for as long as it takes for you to overcome your K2/Spice abuse and addiction and achieve full recovery.