A legal, over-the-counter alternative to cannabis sounds like a beautiful thing. Who doesn’t want the freedom to enjoy a nice smoke without the threat of legal troubles or employment loss? Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a safe alternative to cannabis.
A Dangerous Cannabis Alternative: What is Spice?
Commonly referred to as spice or K2, these “herbal incense” products are nothing like the cannabis plant they claim to mimic. Unlike cannabis, which is 100 percent natural, K2 is a human-made product that contains more than 200 synthetic cannabinoids.
Medical professionals don’t yet have a solid understanding of how these synthetic cannabinoids compare to the real thing, but it’s already becoming clear that they are extremely dangerous. Considering the fact that these products are available to anyone over the age of 18 and that their danger is hidden beneath the innocuous “herbal incense” label, these might be some of the most dangerous drugs around today.
The Frightening Effects of K2: Why is this Drug So Dangerous?
K2 is, unfortunately, nothing like cannabis. While cannabis certainly doesn’t affect everyone the same way, and some people can have negative side effects from using it, these effects are mostly harmless when it comes to the long term. As long as a person quits using cannabis, their system will generally return to normal, and they won’t have to suffer the negative side effects any longer.
This isn’t always the case with K2. It has been known to cause serious effects that can last long after use of the substance has been halted. It has caused severe kidney injuries, lung problems, panic disorders, cardiac arrest, psychosis, and even paralysis. If you’ve been using K2 and thus far have not suffered any serious injuries or problems as a result, the time to quit is now.
Some of the short-term negative effects of K2 include:
- Severe paranoia
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
- Aggression, rage, and violence
- Psychotic breaks
Another problem with K2 is that it’s severely addictive for many users. Since so little is known about the substance, researchers don’t yet understand how it affects the brain. However, most substances that cause a high can be addictive for some people, and K2 is no different.
Addicted to Spice: What Should You Do?
If you’ve been using K2 regularly, you might suffer from withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop. Don’t let this deter you from getting off the drug. The longer you use it, the more your system will become dependent on the chemicals. At some point, you should consider seeking professional help for your addiction
Many of the K2 withdrawal symptoms are similar to what users experience during a bad trip. Along with intense paranoia, vomiting and other nasty symptoms, you might experience:
- Cold sweats
- Muscle spasms and tremors
- Cardiac arrest
More research needs to be done on synthetic cannabinoids before anyone can say for certain that these symptoms are directly linked. However, people have suffered from cardiac arrest and many other life-threatening health problems while using K2 and while withdrawing. Therefore, it might be wise to face the initial stages of withdrawal with the help of medical professionals.
If you need help with detoxing from K2, look into the resources in your local area. Since withdrawal can take weeks, your best bet might be checking into a residential treatment and detox center. These centers have medical professionals on staff who can help you in the event of a serious emergency, and they may provide the best environment to both detox from K2 and understand what led you to abuse it in the first place.