Synthetic pot is becoming increasingly popular among America’s youth, and scientists are drawing a connection between the fake drug and a rash of teenage heart attacks, according to Discover Magazine.After three Texas teenagers suffered myocardial infarctions over the course of three months, scientists published the first known study of the link between heart issues and the rising use of synthetic pot, which people are turning to in lieu of its illegal brethren.
The three 16-year-olds admitted to using “K2” before their chest pains began to doctors at the UT Southwestern Medical centre in Dallas.
The trend goes beyond a few teenagers, however. U.S. Poison Control says calls concerning exposure to synthetic marijuana have gone up 52 per cent over the past year.
Synethetic weed is often sold legally as incense, and contains a blend of herbs laced with synthetic cannabinoids. The effect of smoking the “incense” is akin to smoking pot, as the chemicals activate similar receptors in the brain.
In fact, packets of K2, Spice, Blaze, and Red X Dawn, among others, contain cannabinoids that are even stronger than THC. The result is an undetectable (by drug tests) but powerful buzz.
Earlier this year, the DEA exercised use of an emergency one-year ban on these substances, citing an “imminent threat to public health and safety.” In the meantime, studies will begin on the total effect of the fake drugs.
But manufacturers can remain ahead of the law by utilising compounds that have not yet been banned by the DEA and still bind to cannabinoid receptors.
There have also been reports linking the use of synthetic pot to mental illness and suicide.
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