Synthetic marijuana, K2, Spice, JWH-018 and, you guessed it, dependence

When I first read Abel Pharmboy's post introducing the notion of recreational use of a synthetic cannabinoid adulterated burnable product, my first thought was the US Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement of 1986, aka the Federal Analog Act (Wikipedia). From the justice department page about analogues:

They are structurally or pharmacologically similar to Schedule I or II controlled substances and have no legitimate medical use. A substance which meets the definition of a controlled substance analogue and is intended for human consumption is treated under the CSA as if it were a controlled substance in Schedule I.

K2-Spice300.jpg
source
As Abel pointed out, these so called synthetic marijuana products are some variety of dried vegetable matter adulterated with one or more compounds that convey similar pharmacological properties as does Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive constituent of marijuana. Compounds which appear to be highly popular are the ones known as CP-47,497 and JWH-018.


The reason? Simple (Abel Pharmboy again):

According to this 2000 paper in Drug and Alcohol Dependence from the Huffman and Martin groups, JWH-018 binds to the psychotropic CB1 receptor with approximately 4 times the potency of the naturally-occurring THC. Unlike THC, which binds with almost equal affinity to CB1 and CB2 receptors, JHW-018 exhibits a 3-fold preference for CB1 receptors.

Exactly. The CB1 receptor, of course, is where THC acts to produce the psychotropic effects. Okay so even if these compounds are sufficiently structurally distinct from THC to avoid triggering the structural similarity clause, they should trigger the pharmacological similarity clause, right? Apparently not. A Missouri state legislator has decided to introduce banning legislation because these synthetic marijuana products are currently legal. Why? Well, according to the Wikipedia entry:

Based on the case law it would appear that this section has so far been interpreted to mean that a substance must fulfill both parts A(i) and A(ii), i.e. it must have a structure substantially similar to that of a controlled drug, and produce pharmacological effects substantially similar to those of the controlled drug with which it is being compared, in order to be considered a controlled substance analogue. However this has not been conclusively decided and it is possible that the DEA might attempt a prosecution based on only one of these parts if they felt that it was appropriate, for instance if a new drug started being sold which had effects similar to an existing drug of abuse but which had no structural resemblance to any controlled drug.


At this point, many of my readers are going to echo Abel Pharmboy who observed in his post:

So while JWH-018 has four-fold greater potency for CB1 receptors than THC in an isolated receptor binding study, how its effect compares to plain-old marijuana depends on other factors such as the relative amount in the product, how stable it is to combustion, how it's metabolized in the body, among others.

Another way to express this is Problem? What problem?
We are, of course, very early in the recreational use cycle for this product. The lead indicators are, as always, the reports that are fascinating to me...and infuriating to a certain segment of my readership. Yes, Dear Reader, I have a Case Report for your consideration.
Withdrawal phenomena and dependence syndrome after the consumption of "spice gold". Zimmermann US, Winkelmann PR, Pilhatsch M, Nees JA, Spanagel R, Schulz K. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009 Jul;106(27):464-7. Epub 2009 Jul 3.
No fear, it is available at PubMed Central here and yes, it is in English. So you can read it yourself to dispute my description if you like.
The report describes a 20 yr old man with a little prior experience with hashish, some hallucinogens, minimal alcohol consumption and about 10 cigarettes per day. No other illicit drugs reported, nor detected in blood tests during the clinical care interval.
His primary drug problem was with "Spice Gold" a synthetic marijuana product the case authors apparently procured, had two volunteers confirm a cannabis-typical psychoactive effect* and ruled out any THC related structures via mass spec. It is a little uncertain here but they are relying on this article reporting analysis of related products in concluding that, as Abel mentioned, CP-47,497 and JWH-018 are top suspects. So ticking off the interesting symptoms:

he has only been consuming "Spice Gold," initially 1 g daily, for eight months. Due to decreasing effect, he had rapidly increased the dose to a final value of 3 g daily--split into 3 to 4 doses, with the first dose early in the morning.
...
Owing to the consumption of the substance, he had often recently been listless and had had problems in thinking clearly

Check and check. Referring to DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, we have tolerance, use despite physical / psychological problem (see below) and perhaps interference with major role responsibilities.

A few weeks ago during a phase of abstinence owing to shortages in supply, he had developed symptoms in the form of profuse sweating during the day and especially in the night, as well as internal unrest, tremor, palpitation, insomnia, headache, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Additionally he had suddenly felt depressed and desperate.

Ahh, yes. Sounds like a withdrawal. Is it substance-typical? Yep, sure sounds like it.

This had lasted for two days and had only abruptly disappeared after taking the drug again. Therefore, he no longer had the courage to discontinue the drug by himself.

Yep, taking drug to avoid the withdrawal is another diagnostic criterion.
The report goes on to detail the days of inpatient detoxification of the patient. You can read those symptoms and then look at the literature on cannabis withdrawal here, here, here and here for starters.
My read is that the symptoms reported in this case report are entirely consistent with cannabis dependence.
This is entirely unsurprising to us in the field, I realize. We have potent CB1 compounds and humans using the product recreationally as a legal alternative to marijuana. Assuming that Abel's concerns about bioavailability are unwarranted and this is not mere placebo effect, the risk of dependence is clearly indicated. This case report is one of the lead indicators. Will we see a continued trickle of case reports of dependence on this stuff? Sure, just so long as it remains available and consumed.
The interesting thing will be to see how long it take regulatory authorities to criminalize these so-called synthetic marijuana products in various jurisdictions. Availability and cost relative to good old marijuana will dictate whether this becomes a continuing issue for public health or not.
__
*my source for the image performed a similar small-scale user test. The results appear to confirm subjective effects similar to marijuana. Since these are legal products in at least some jurisdictions where my readers reside, perhaps we will get some additional testimonials in the comments?

96 responses so far

  • Anonymous says:

    Are there any similar studies involving use of pure compounds? Pure JWH and CP compounds are available, in use, and cheaper than either Spice or cannabis; it seems to me that studying the effects of specific compounds would be easier and at least as relevant.

  • WMDKitty says:

    Cannabis "dependence" is a long-cherished myth among the establishment.
    Cannabis does not produce physical dependence, aka "addiction". If it did, I'd be selling everything I own with any value, or turning tricks just to get one hit, same way crack-heads and junkies do for their fix.
    How do I know? I have experienced exactly ZERO of your withdrawal symptoms -- no nausea, vomiting, sweating (outside of normal sweating, that is), tremors (aside from those caused by Cerebral Palsy), etc. -- even after using heavily, and stopping for days, even weeks, at a time. No. Effect. Whatsoever. Ditto for every last one of my friends who partake of this particular plant.
    Therefore, I can only conclude that this case you pointed out was falsely reported, and the young man was, in fact, taking other substances as well. Or (less likely, but possible) the "gold spice" was adulterated with other substances (heroin or another opiate) -- his withdrawal symptoms sound remarkably similar to someone who is "dope sick", and needs his heroin fix.
    There are well-documented benefits to ingesting cannabis, and no amount of fudging or misreporting will change that fact.
    Pain relief, appetite-stimulant, anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, anti-depressive, sleep aid, muscle-relaxant, very few side-effects, and those few are mild compared to manufactured drugs. Face it: this plant does things that pharmaceutical companies expect us to pay a lot of money for, and it can be grown damn near anywhere with very little work. In short, a pharmaceutical company's NIGHTMARE.
    (In the interest of full disclosure, I have Cerebral Palsy, and find cannabis is the only thing that helps my muscle tone without turning me into a drooling, snoring idiot.)

  • DrugMonkey says:

    I can only conclude that this case you pointed out was falsely reported, and the young man was, in fact, taking other substances as well. Or (less likely, but possible) the "gold spice" was adulterated with other substances (heroin or another opiate) -- his withdrawal symptoms sound remarkably similar to someone who is "dope sick", and needs his heroin fix.
    Well it is certainly true that there are shared dependence features across drug class. And some interesting cannabinoid / opioid interactions that make it even more likely that features may be shared.
    But the real point here lies in the research literature on cannabis dependence and withdrawal symptoms that I've linked. What you will notice is that symptoms vary in incidence but never occur in 100% of the sample. There is *always* going to be a distribution including some people who simply do not express dependence or even a given withdrawal symptom. At a dose and regimen that many other people do express such symptoms.
    So arguing that just because one person (you) does not express withdrawal symptoms (and I dispute your ability to recognize subtle symptoms in yourself) this means that nobody does is just not well supported by the available data. I will note that in a prior thread where we had lots of people weighing in with their personal anecdotes about being subjectively dependent on cannabis, the comment proportions approximated the research estimates (~8-10% of users dependent) pretty dang well.

  • Anonymous says:

    Do these studies consider the possibility that cannabinoid withdrawal symptoms are psychogenic? My first thought was to switch one group to a strain without significant cannabinoid content and compare their reported symptoms to the group that's not smoking at all, but most subjects would figure out pretty quickly that they're not getting high.

  • GNoelIves says:

    I've used spice gold 20+ times and marijuana over 2000 times (psychedelics over 100 times, dxm ~20 times at various dosages, meditation, yoga, but no alcohol coke, opiates pharms or cigs,). Here is my anecdatum.
    The subjective effects are not very close. First, spice lasts much longer. Second, spice does not have the same effects on music or sex as marijuana to me. Finally, marijuana has much more spiritual or mystical aspect to it. With spice, I felt altered and high, but not a like I was flying, inspired or euphoric. Further, sleep on spice was not refreshing, and you wake up feeling still under the effects of the drug.
    With spice, I did not notice withdrawl after 10 or so days regular use (2-3x/day) but with marijuana I do, including intense dreaming, irritability, depression, lower appetite and lack of focus. I believe depression and lack of focus predated my marijuana use, and marijuana is effectively medicating those symptoms.
    I'm eager to continue to self experiment with more synthetic cannabinoids. But I don't want jwg-018 anymore. As a tool for introspection, medicine, or tool for spiritual experience or creativity it's just not there. 018 is to marijuana as Kenny g is to Coltrane.

  • P says:

    "he had developed symptoms in the form of profuse sweating during the day and especially in the night, as well as internal unrest, tremor, palpitation, insomnia, headache, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Additionally he had suddenly felt depressed and desperate."
    Haha, this is supposed to be cannabis withdrawal?
    Unfortunately people who write such publications have conflict of interest, to get grants for further study they need to show that public is in danger. It's often in their interest to vilify anything they deal with.
    Not to mention that basing something on a single self-reported case is laughable. If they want to do science they need controlled human trial, recruit 50 healthy people, control dosages and monitor the effects. Then you will get scientific results.
    Relying on single self-reported case is as scientific as UFO investigations.

  • Synchronium says:

    The interesting thing will be to see how long it take regulatory authorities to criminalize these so-called synthetic marijuana products in various jurisdictions. Availability and cost relative to good old marijuana will dictate whether this becomes a continuing issue for public health or not.

    For the record, it was controlled in the UK on Dec 23rd last year. Everyone has just gone back to smoking the same old cannabis they'd been smoking before the introduction of the synthetics.
    You might find this interesting: http://www.synchronium.net/2009/02/21/jwh-018-toxicology/
    Lots of good reports in the comments including some monstrous non-lethal overdoses.

  • P says:

    The guy most likely did heroin but was afraid he will be kicked out of school/be jailed/be forced to give his suppliers or whatever so he made up a story about spice.

  • Lorenzo says:

    Synthetic cannabinoids including Spice were banned in the UK in December but they have received very little attention over here both before and after legislation. It's 4MMC or mephedrone that is worrying, it's being sold on the internet as "Plant food" and is still a legal substance. Any thoughts on this from your side of the pond?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    #6- as i said, this is an early indicator. what is laughable is refusing to integrate all available data into a whole picture.
    #8- they make it clear that he came up negative for opiates in the testing upon being admitted to inpatient care.
    #9- I am watching the mephedrone thing too. as you say, a lot of reports out of GB. not quite as much from the US yet.

  • Synchronium says:

    I don't think anyone knows if mephedrone's legal there, thanks to your analogue law. That may explain why it's not exploded over there.
    Also, our cocaine and ecstasy are shit. The cocaine contains negligible cocaine and the ecstasy pills are mostly piperazines or cathinone analogues. MDMA next to impossible to find.

  • Tebor says:

    I smoked jwh-018,jwh-073,jwh-200, and jwh-250 daily for about 6 months. when my supply ran out, i did not have any withdrawal symptoms. i did not buy any more product although it is easy to obtain.
    the 4 have subtle differences, but are not quite as enjoyable as marijuana. Although they are much cheaper.
    most of my potsmoking friends would not try jwh's. because they are legal they assumed they were worthless. when several states started talking about banning the substance, they were suddenly interested.
    Banning these substances will increase awareness and demand.

  • Dacks says:

    I really appreciate your posts on cannabis dependency and withdrawal. I have forwarded them to my SO who has recently quit smoking pot. He experienced sweats, panic attacks, irritability and decreased appetite. He made the choice when he realized that smoking occasionally is not possible for him; once he begins, he moves steadily towards habitual use, trying to avoid the rebound by getting high repeatedly through the day.
    Overcoming the addiction is really hard. He has said that not smoking for 10 years (which ended about 2 years ago) was his proudest accomplishment. The future is not certain - I don't know whether he will be able to keep total abstinence, which in his case is the only option. BTW, I smoked recreationaly for 20 years, yet quit one day and never looked back. So I know that addiction is not inevitable.

  • Pierce R. Butler says:

    A (predictably negative) story about K2 from AP quotes Dr. Huffman:

    "People who use it are idiots," said Huffman, referring to K2 smokers.

    No context to that quote was given. Was he discussing its purported addictive potential (not mentioned in the story), its greater strength, the above-described esthetic inferiority to the botanical product, personal observation of K2 users, known risks of one or more components, his own preference for (let's say) schnapps, or ???

  • Rob Monkey says:

    "People who trust Dr. Huffman are idiots," said Rob Monkey, referring to doctors who make snap judgments about people's character. I mean it doesn't exactly prove your Mensa status by using drugs, but I think the "idiot" label should be reserved for something a bit more serious. You know, like more serious than alcohol at least? Incidentally, I think this product will go the way of all the other fake weed out there. It may be legal, but that's cause it doesn't work that well. Enough restrictions will be placed on it, people will forget it even existed as the availability drops, and just go back to buying ganja, and good for them if they do, at least with real weed you can trust that it's most likely not adulterated. This stuff OTOH seems a little more suspicious.
    I'm always a bit curious to compare these stories of pot addiction to addictions of other supposedly non-addictive substances. Do people who are addicted to food undergo irritability, panic attacks, etc., when they're trying to curb their appetite? What about exercise addicts if they haven't gotten their run in? It just seems like most of these symptoms are just anxiety about changing their normal conditions of life. I mean I've gotten panic attacks and irritable when I've changed jobs, gotten dumped, etc. You roll with it and things look better in a few days. Not nearly as bad as quitting smoking IMHO.

  • Isabel says:

    "I mean it doesn't exactly prove your Mensa status by using drugs, but I think the "idiot" label should be reserved for something a bit more serious."
    So, Rob, a person who uses cannabis or alcohol is not quite an idiot, but you would automatically see them in some kind of unfavorable light?
    Unlike Drugmonkey, who sets a "positive" example by being (apparently-he's too cagey to really be sure) completely drug free, as he wants us all to aspire to being.
    "It just seems like most of these symptoms are just anxiety about changing their normal conditions of life."
    Nicely put.

  • Dirk says:

    "My read is that the symptoms reported in this case report are entirely consistent with cannabis dependence. "
    It sure looks like it. Based on the comments on my blog from people who are having difficulty with cannabis withdrawal, the symptom set looks almost identical.

  • Dacks says:

    Rob, the symptoms I've observed firsthand are not like really, really wanting that piece of chocolate cake. They are hugely disrupting. During his first withdrawal, 15 years ago, my SO was hospitalized for suicidal ideation. I would never have believed it possible that this guy could be so agitated that he seriously contemplated hanging himself.
    Now, I won't attribute that entirely to the withdrawal, but I think that without the pot addiction he would never have gone so far over the edge. He did not smoke for 10 years, and never came close to this emotional pitch during that time. It was only when he began smoking again that things began to unravel.

  • wheelbrain says:

    "I mean it doesn't exactly prove your Mensa status by using drugs, but I think the "idiot" label should be reserved for something a bit more serious."
    Isaac Asimov, one-time Vice-President of Mensa, called Carl Sagan one of the two people he'd ever met who was smarter than himself. Sagan, of course, was a legendary pothead who smoked weed for most of his life. I don't mean to be a pedant here, I just think it's an interesting tidbit.

  • Adi says:

    Great article, I have to say I've been lagging in my examination of THC and marijuana synthetics. I guess now that I'm not using I just don't care as much as I used to.
    As usual I love the conspiracy theories offered by MJ users on these sorts of posts. They write them on my site too, perhaps a side-effect?
    I think it's time that people paid attention to the entire argument, prevalence and all, before going on about their own experience. With a relatively small percentage of individuals developing dependence on any substance, similar arguments could hold for cocaine, crystal meth, and yes, even the dreaded heroin.
    Personal stories are fun to share but don't mean much in the grand scheme of things... Unless there just isn't available data.
    I'd love to repost this on my site or at least summarize and refer - any objections to either?

  • Will says:

    I think it is ironic you say that single personal accounts don't mean that much when this whole entry was regarding a SINGLE case!

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Will- there is a big difference between using the anecdote to claim the universal (I.e. That if one person does not become dependent than means *nobody* could ever be dependent) and using the anecdote to identify the *possibility* of a causally associated effect.

  • Adi says:

    Will, as I read it, this whole post had to do with a little more than these synthetics. At question is the entire notion about CB1 agonists, including THC, and their potential to induce dependence criteria (I'm really looking forward to being able to use a different term for addiction with the DSM-V coming around - I think dependence is only part of the issue here).
    My comment was a response to comments that claim their own experience means the account described is patently false (see #2, #6, #8, and more). To that end, a single case would at the least, if true, nullify their argument. But, as DM noted, a single case only raises the possibility that something exists, never the proof that it is, or isn't, a universal truth.

  • Donna B. says:

    Years ago, eons before the internet, and when my hair was still thick and luxurious... I read a book that stated that around 10% of people were going to become addicted to some kind of mood altering drug... illegal or not.
    Though the numbers in the OP are a little higher, given the greater accuracy of research these days, I'd say they are still in the same ballpark.
    And, if this is true... I can't see any justification for the massive costs of the "War" on drugs.
    For what it's worth, I have never smoked an entire joint, and shared maybe only 5 in my entire life, the last being circa 1985. I've never used any other illegal drug, but I have been sipping on a glass of wine while reading blogs this evening.
    So... what I'd like to see is research targeted at why some people get addicted to things, but most people don't.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    what I'd like to see is research targeted at why some people get addicted to things, but most people don't
    There is actually a fair bit of this going on. Older trails in so-called personality variables, environmental influences, heritability and newer threads in genetic differences that may confer liability.

  • Jennifer B. Phillips says:

    With respect to the genetic variables of addiction, is it known whether there is a predisposition to be addicted to certain substances (given the specificity of some of the receptors targeted by the active chemicals in illicit drugs, it seems possible), or does it fall along more general lines (manifesting as alcohol dependence in one generation, marijuana the next, crack cocaine after that, etc.)?
    With respect to the addictive potential of marijuana specifically, is it known how long or how heavily one must use this particular drug to become addicted? If so, is this time/dose parameter appreciably different those for other illicit drugs? I've heard a lot of anti-drug messages to the effect that using (cocaine, e.g.) just one time is enough to get you hooked, but I'm unsure whether this assertion has any basis in science. I'm sure the answer will vary depending on the user in question, but for argument's sake, let's assume he/she is in the addictive 8-10%.

  • Adi says:

    Jennifer,
    In regards to question #1, yes. One of the most obvious examples of this is ALDH*2 work with asian populations linking genetics and alcohlism (or reduced rates of) in certain groups. There is other work with different drugs (a great starting point is a 2003 paper by kendler) showing some genetic specificity.
    In regards to #2, if I had the answer I'd be running around the world shouting it out (I'm not). Also, the assertion regarding across the board addiction after a single use is certainly not supported by science for any drug as far as I know. For people in the high-risk group there are still many open questiond regarding the progression though, as you pointed out, it's probably highly variable.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    yeah, the hooked-at-first-high PR message has no direct scientific support. There is quite a bit of epidemiological evidence available since the number of people who sample any drug you like are always higher than those who are dependent.
    The only remotely credible basis for this is that many addicts report "knowing the first time I tried Drug X that this was the one for me". I am not sure how to take those stories exactly but I do not dismiss them out of hand.

  • Retired Pharmacist against Prohibition says:

    We observe our government continues to provide false information about cannabis, totally in opposition to what is recognized in the scientific community internationally.
    Cannabis withdrawal is an artificial construct of those who are looking for defects in the plant God has provided. Look at that PubMed study again (your third "here"). The kids were already depressed! Then you take their pot away from them. And instead give half of them one of those SSRI anti-depressants we notice are so liable to cause violent shootings, suicides and other mayhem.
    At the end, we read the poor kids missed their pot ("cannabis craving"), and suffered from irritability, restlessness, anxiety, and depression. You are blaming the very agent that has ameliorated these problems up until now, for the suffering incurred when they are denied this invaluable medicine.
    May I suggest we stop pushing the SSRI's on kids or anybody else, for that matter. The side effects of the SSRI's are positively gruesome. These kids have no idea they may never again have orgasm because they were on a regimen of SSRI's. They will gain weight and still feel miserable.
    When we look at the data objectively, we will allow them to have their cannabis. It is SAFE. 5 thousand years of consumption and not one death is a better record than any other medical agent, including water. Prohibiting what is safe only sends thrill-seekers to dangerous substances -- like alcohol.
    We cannot trust the government to tell the truth about K2 and Spice, etc., either. Have K2 and Spice really caused any harm? These reported "hospitalizations" were undoubtedly little more than observational.
    When we make something desirable illegal, we drive it underground. Then we have to worry about our kids getting arrested and put in jail. For what? I ask, for what.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    and all of the other studies (i just link a few) which vary in age range, presence of affective disorder and ssri treatment yet indicate a similar dependence profile?

  • Jennifer B. Phillips says:

    Adi & Drugmonkey, thanks so much for the info! The genetics of addiction is a fascinating topic indeed.

  • CG says:

    as much as I hate to say it...some people do experience significant withdrawal when quitting cannabis, after prolonged, chronic exposure.
    I experienced such as a teenager. the physical similiarity to opiate withdrawal was later noted, when I was a Heroin addict.
    I would rate cannabis withdrawals at about 1/100 as bad as heroin.
    and I would also rate alcohol as a far more dangerous substance to withdrawal from...I recently had a friend who was 35 years old die from alcohol withdrawal complications...he quit drinking too quickly...he was a six pack a day drinker...and he died from quitting all alcohol within a few days cold turkey. had he been medicated on valium or similiar benzo he might not have died.
    in my opinion these JWH type compounds should NOT be controlled other than limiting exposure to those under the age of 18.
    as soon as these products become illegal, the black market will immediately profit...as I understand, JWH 018 is already being sold by people involved with heroin and cocaine sales on the street.
    illegalization will mean another blockbuster seller for the cartels.
    synthesizing JWH 018 is not a hard thing to do, and until China would illegalize it, a large portion of the supply of this substance would be supported by many countries willing to make fast and consistant $$

  • Dirk says:

    "There is other work with different drugs (a great starting point is a 2003 paper by kendler) showing some genetic specificity."
    True, but the widespread occurrence of pan-addiction and multiple addictions, and addicts switching to a new addictive drug when denied their drug of choice, suggests there may also be an overriding genetic predilection for any addictive substance. Addicts will learn to use what is at hand. In many cases, ff you are dependent on cocaine, and travel somewhere that only offers alcohol--you'll drink. And vice versa.

  • Kush Spice says:

    Coffee produces similar dependence and withdrawal symptoms, but nobody is considering making it a schedule 1 drug.

  • Drug, my K2 Spice post has been getting pummeled with referrals from this Phish discussion forum - lots of anecdotal experiences there you and your readers might be interested in perusing:
    http://www.phantasytour.com/phish/boards_thread.cgi?threadID=2223814&page=1

  • k2 says:

    I don't understand why you have pictures of k2 up and are discussing an article of spice, has there been any sort of research as to the dangers of k2 yet?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    because, so far as analyses have been conducted, these products share common psychoactive ingredients. JWH-018 is frequently mentioned.
    I focus on the psychoactive effects so I go ahead and class anything that has a CB1 agonist together. Because discussions of pharmacokinetics, bioavailability, dose, etc are somewhat less important in the context of dependence. Interesting, sure, but not germane to the central point that these compounds produce effects similar to those of delta9THC.
    toxic effects of the nonpsychoactives in that stuff isn't really my bailiwick, as important as it may be.

  • Anonymous says:

    Mix Spice and some weed together. The jwh is an antagonist. Pour some THC from the weed into that wide open receptor. Now you will be high. Tada!!

  • Anonymous says:

    pure jwh is not toxic. A definitive essay of the botanicals used in the Spice/K2 series needs to be done.
    Just miroscopically I saw seeds.
    I saw a list posted somewhere but ya know....

  • Anonymous says:

    OK I need to know for sure: Does spice/K2 contain jwh or Hu210 and where is this confirmed? Thanks

  • Queen says:

    Spice is really good stuff! "Orange Blaze" JNA Botanicle Insince is prob. the best i've smoked. I've been smoking nothing but the best of bud for years... And yes this spice stuff really gets you high, Prob. the highest you've ever been for about 15-30 min. then you come down pretty fast. But it's at the end of the day when you need that relaxation. Something to look forward to. I really hope it stays legal!

  • Jim says:

    I'm more interested in the actual content of JWH-018 (not to mention what other ingredients are being used) in K2 and Spice, et al. I'm sure JWH content varies from one brand to another. Anyone have any reliable data on that?

  • Jim says:

    edit: by content, I meant amount or percentage

  • donloc says:

    I think most places use about 1gr of Jwh per every 100gr of herb material they infuse it with, im not chemist so i think ill just stick to buying it online. I ran across a place that is selling a few blends but they are usually cheap, anyone been to http://www.dieselspice.com or placed an order there? I just wanted to know before i gave them a credit card number

  • johanna says:

    K2 is bad. i smoked it and was fine, nothing bad happened and it mimiced weed just fine. but then i got my brother, a year younger than i, to smoke it. it affects different people in different ways, and he had a bad reaction. his heart was pounding and it was so scary. he was pale and dizzy, had numbness. he wasn't just freaking out in his mind, this was physical. i read stories about kids dying, having 12 hour seizures and blacking out for hours or days. i thought i'd have to take him to the ER. i had him lay down and try to relax, i just talked to him and gave him water to help speed his metabolism. i hope this post helps anyone who is having this problem, i'm never smoking K2 again

  • Steve says:

    Legal weed is dangerous. I smoked some about two days ago and it didn't do what I thought it was going to do. I'd taken about three hits and my entire world began to cave in on itself. I felt extremely paranoid and very frightened. I was pacing around my house unable to control my actions because everything seemed to be slipping in and out of a dream like state. I kept rambling to myself about how bad of a situation I got myself into, and panic attacks were frequent. The poor muscle within my chest was going rampant and I wasn't sure if I was going to survive. I wanted to call 911, but I was way too paranoid to talk to anybody, let alone the cops. When I looked into the mirror, I noticed that I was ghost white and my eyes were extremely dilated. It was probably the worst thing I'd ever gone through. I lost all motor control, and my bones were on fire. All of this was caused by an experimental drug know as spice I had purchased from a local smoke shop. This stuff is dangerous; I can easily see how an over dose could cause cardiac arrest or stroke, which can lead to death. It is also very possible that someone might hurt someone else while under the influence of this extremely powerful mind controlling substance. It isn't safe, and I don't recommend it.

  • JWH-018 says:

    JWH-018 has been around for a while, but has been able to keep a low profile. Press is never a good thing for legal substances that work.
    The more JWH-018 is regulated, the more press it will receive and the more people that will use it. Look how well they regulate marijuana... You can get that in every state without a problem.

  • Mike says:

    I have used JWH-18 for over 2 years now.(write me if you like research@herbavigor.com) I was one of the first people to get it and use it. I must say, it isn't addictive as far as I am concerned. To me an addiction is what happens with heroin where there is physical withdrawel or with cocaine. Marijuana is not addictive. And JWH-18 isn't addictive any more than marijuana. Sure, I want to smoke it every day, but I also like to take my ginseng root also. Why? Cause I feel better. Cannabinoids, vitamins, exercise make me feel good so I want to do it again. This is NOT an addiction, but just desire to feel healthy. As far as the report of the guy sweating. The subject appears to have had a lot of different problems which contributed to his reaction. I must say. JWH-18 is superior to marijuana and it is a very good medicine and helps the quality of life. research@herbavigor.com. Hope we look at this with an open mind

  • DrugMonkey says:

    pray tell what happens "with cocaine" that leads you to group it with heroin and distinguish it from marijuana?

  • Joel says:

    I have been using JWH-018 for about a year , and all is well .I imagine smoking 3 grams a day of that plant material is ultimately what made him sick , and not the active RC itself .

  • Anonymous says:

    There’s still not a lot of information available about JWH-018. This is wild west territory folks. We’re really excited about this chemical so we’ll be updating this page regularly as we learn more information and receive first-hand reports from fellow researchers. Here’s what we know today:
    History
    JWH-018, also known as 1-pentyl-3-naphthoylindole, is just one of a series of several hundred JWH-xxx chemicals developed over the last few years by John W. Huffman (JWH) and his research associates at Clemson University in the USA. His team’s primary focus is the synthesis of analogues and metabolites of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), also known as cannabinoids.
    JWH-018 is covered by the following US patents: 7241799 and 6900236
    Potency
    Each of the JWH chemicals have varying effects on the CB1 and CB2 receptors, however JWH-018 has been singled out by researchers (and recreational users) as one which possesses qualities quite similar to THC.
    This report written by Huffman states that JWH-018 has approximately five times greater affinity for the CP1 receptor than THC, and is more potent than THC in humans/animals.
    Administration and Dosage
    Smoked: 0.5mg to 3mg
    Insufflated: Very weak, and probably very difficult as the compound is not a powder - not recommended
    Oral: 3mg to 10mg
    Some anecdotal research indicates consuming amounts greater than these can cause anxiety, not unlike smoking too much marijuana. Other research indicates that because JWH-018 shares similar properties to THC, it would be very difficult to overdose, unlike some other cannabinoids, such as HU-210, which may be fatal when consumed in large amounts.
    When consumed, JWH-018 has effects similar to THC lasting for 3-5 hours duration. When compared to CP 55,940, which has an effect duration of 10 to 18 hours, this could be considered a definite plus by many recreational users. Smoking JWH-018 differs from smoking THC in that it produces a peak effect almost instantaneously, unlike the 10-15 minute delay with cannabis/THC as it is not metabolized to a more active compound (THC is metabolized to the more active 11-hydroxy THC). Re-dosing is possible upon comedown, although there is not enough research to indicate if there are any tolerance issues.
    It is speculated, but not yet proven, that JWH-018 would not be detected by standard cannabinoid drug tests.
    Comparisons To Other Synthetic Cannabinoids
    Further input is required. Other known recreational cannabinoids include WIN 55,210, HU-210 and CP 55,940. There are also some discussions of JWH-073 and JWH-081 for recreational use although the differences between them and JWH-018 are very subtle.
    JWH-018 is considerably more stable and easier to store than CP55,940, which degrades (and loses potency) at temperatures above -20C, whilst JWH-018 does not appear to degrade significantly at room temperature.
    Would anyone care to summarize, in layman’s terms, the conclusions of this article? It appears that JWH-018 compares very favorably to CP55,940 and WIN 55,212-2.
    Therapeutic Uses
    From Wikipedia:
    JWH-018 (1-Pentyl-3-(1-Naphthoyl)Indole) is an analgesic drug from the aminoalkylindole family, which acts as a cannabinoid agonist at both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, with some selectivity for CB2. It produces effects in animals very similar to those of THC itself, but with a shorter duration of action, and is currently being researched as a potential analgesic to be administered by transdermal patch.
    So can we assume that there may be uses for this drug besides obvious recreational purposes? Perhaps as a potential alternate for medical marijuana for Alzheimer’s patients. Or as a trans-dermal patch for AIDS or chemotherapy patients who suffer from nausea and are unable to take THC in pill form.

  • kevin says:

    I am guessing that the subject or young man that had withdraws did not smoke marijuana to combat his symptoms. The story didn't address that scenario. I would be interested in knowing what would happen if the subject had smoked pot as a replacement for K2. The reason is because K2 is viewed as a suitable replacement for marijuana by many that use it. The story was disappointing to me because it had a hole in it that was not even acknowledged.

  • Heef says:

    Moe-Joe Platinum, took 3 hits, and got dizzy/panicy. BP was 196/98 with a pulse higher than 100, palpatations, and chest pain. Went to the ER, and was put on beta blockers and xanax wich relieved the symptoms. I'm in pretty good cardio shape thank god, this coulda been realy bad. Screw all this "LEAGLE" weed. I like the real shit, thousands of years of proven safe use. Stay away from the bullshit, that ER bills gonna cost me more than an OZ of some killer nuggs ever would.

  • Tim Ellis says:

    re: Mephedrone - I was in the UK a while back and this "plant food" stuff was EVERYWHERE. It hasn't quite caught on over here, although it's beginning to (I'm heavily involved in the rave community and we get almost as much exposure to new drugs as the fraternity "I have lots of spare money and no supervision" demographic). People are using it as a substitute for uppers of all sorts, and they're doing a LOT of it - although I'm unclear on whether that's specific to Mephedrone, or just that people in the UK simply do a lot more drugs in general. Or both.
    I'm definitely interested in seeing more research on this substance, in the interest of maintaining safety. We go out of our way to ensure people have proper information about MDMA and other club drus, and it has resulted in an extremely safe environment in our local rave community. I wish to maintain that with a proper Mephedrone assessment.

  • Wu says:

    You people realize that every flower that is in K2 is also enthogenicly active! HELLO! Do some reasearch, pull your heads out of your butts, and find out what it is that you are smoking. IT IS NOT JUST JWH THAT IS IN K2!!! There are five or more distinct enthogenic botanicals that each have their own unique effects on the brain! One of them appears to have a narcotic effect and the rest are psychedellic. I'm sick of bad trip reports from idiots who don't know what they are putting in their heads. Read up first and prepare yourselves. Set and setting? Read a freaking book about psychedellics before you start experimenting. The flowers that your smoking could be the main reason that you idiots are having problems.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Have any cites for what is actually in that stuff, Wu?

  • Keegan says:

    I never had any problems with store-bought JWH products. My trouble started when i purchased the powder form JWH, along w/ various herbs. I decided to try a little powder on top of some damiana. a very little. After a week or so, I noticed that if i didn't dose every 5 hours or so, i would feel ill and end up puking if i didn't smoke. this was an immediate red flag. Of course I wanted to keep dosing, but fear overrid dependence, and in a desperate move, I flushed the rest of the JWH. What followed were two days of mild tremors and puking sessions. mostly dry heaving, for I could barely eat. Mercifully, this stopped on the third day, and insomnia took over. I am writing this now on my FIFTH night of transient insomnia. I've slept maybe 2 hours total. I am tired, confused, and scared. I am being looked after now, but I'm horribly frightened I've done permament damage to my brain.
    I've heard people talk about hash withdrawal, and I would have to align my experience with that, not marijuana. In the past when I'd quit smoking pot, I sometimes had trouble sleeping well for a few days, but could sleep through the day if needed.
    I am in hell right now...
    I hate to think off all the other people who will go through this too. We don't want this crap, we want marijuana!

  • Rambler says:

    It's so funny reading the comments that express complete disbelief in serious marijuana or JWH dependence. Those of us who've experienced it know it's fact. I've witnessed it in myself and others in so many different situations or time periods. If you dont experience this stuff you're very lucky, but don't belittle the rest of us please. It is very real to us... Alcoholism is taken seriously and considered a disease, so why not Marijuanaism? (ok, i went a little too far, but u get me...}

  • devi-fumare-me says:

    @keegan,
    without questioning the medical benefits of marijuana, the use of it and other synthetic substances is the silliest thing one can do. You only have one brain, take care of it because it is beautiful. I suggest that you find a significant "devi-fumare-me" and life will always be beautiful in spite of the most difficult challenges.
    Say NO to smoking......... any kind of smoking !!!!

  • Chelsea says:

    okay, I've been smoking k2 for 5 months now. I've been high every single day. Nothing that has been mentioned above has effected me in anyway. All of this stuff is bull shit. None of you people can make a judgment, when nobody knows anything about it. I've never experienced an anxiety attack, increase heart rate, or anything. I experienced a high, and red eyes. That's it. Don't judge people who smoke, when you've never tried it.

  • culturegeek says:

    First, I do read your blog a lot-- usually on human genetic variation versus social race, and the next time I yell at you, it will be about that, promise. I will probably cite Blakey and Goodman, and tell you things that your anthropologist friends have repeated to you ad nauseum.
    However, marijuana prohibition is something about which I feel pretty strongly, and not for the reasons that you might expect. I do not use marijuana recreationally.
    I could use marijuana medicinally under the laws of my state, but I do not, because I have a contraindication that outweighs the benefits for my case at this time (Pot aggravates my ADD enough that it would be more debilitating than the MS symptoms that it would alleviate).
    I wish that US drug policy were not so insane so that I could use something like the products developed by GW pharmaceuticals to give me the benefits without as much impairment, and so that the resources that are currently being wasted on both sides of the drug war could go to useful research on that front.
    Second, that is not even my primary reason for opposing drug prohibition. I oppose drug prohibition because it treats what is, at worst, a public health problem like a crime problem, thus creating a very serious crime problem, without alleviating the public-health problem one bit.
    The existence or nonexstence (probably the latter, but as it is outside of my area of expertise, and not relevant to my point, I will defer to the editor of of The Lancet*) of a physical addiction to cannabis, or to this "Spice" substance, is irrelevant, because criminalizing even the worst drugs demonstrably does not help.
    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but continued absence of evidence after a century of looking for evidence ought to be a clue that you might just be barking up the wrong tree. All available data indicate that the only difference between per capita marijuana use in the US and that in the Netherlands is that we have three times the underage use. The other difference is that, as previously mentioned, our cities are war zones.
    Look, you don't have to be a conspiracy nut to think that US drug policy is not entirely rational** and, as a teetotaling, clean-living, non-smoking, broad-spectrum-sunblock-slathering, ovo-lacto-pisci-vegetarian, who gets my protein, iron checked on a regular basis.(vitamin D too, and the most parsimonious explanation for the vaunted latitude gradient is a simple disparity in ascertainment anyway, so don't ask), the US drug policy looks completely insane to me.
    The main tool that we use for nonviolent offenses stemming from addiction, even those that involved no property crime either, is incarceration, in spite of the fact that treatment, which costs about a third as much, works a whole lot better. If you have the brains you were born with, this should not surprise you.
    The big advance that we have made in making our drug policy more rational has been to reduce the infamous 100:1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. The disparity between the sentences for these two pharmacologically identical substances is now a mere 18:1. This is progress, but there is no scientific justification for any disparity.
    Do you need more examples? I can keep adding them.
    I will leave the UK to The Lancet, but I can say this: The US needs to admit that we are powerless over another person's drug use, and our domestic policy has indeed become unmanageable. I don't care what you smoke if you do it downwind of me, but I would rather not have my hometown (Baltimore) turned into a war zone in a demonstrably futile effort to stop you.
    * http://www.cfdp.ca/lancet2.htm, http://www.cfdp.ca/lancet.htm. Apologies for the informal reference, but their conclusions are worth noting, as they still don't feel that the evidence on cannabis warrants prohibition.
    ** For example, see Dick Durbin's comments on why he voted for the notorious 100:1 crack sentencing disparity, and how he was wrong (available at http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/292568-101&start=17215) There is also the fact that treatment is demonstrably worlds more effective than incarceration for any addiction related offense, costs about a third as much, and is not used in most cities)

  • Austin says:

    I jus smoked Jwh-018 and i will tell you right now that stuff is strong i dont know if it was just that i was anxious about the effects or what but it sure felt like the drug took control im not sure how much smoked id say roughly .01 my chest hurt n my heart was beating fast i did get high but it was too intense in my opinion n felt unhealthy to my body

  • Bridgette Arceneaux says:

    I don't know shit about any kind of drug. I grew up in the late 70's and never tried anything. I be damn I have a son that is 16 years old, and goes to the damn store and buys this "legal marijuana" so he calls it. I'm sick too my stomach. These are KIDS as much as I kept close tabs on them it is impossible to stop. Please Help.

  • Hunter says:

    1) Addiction is a subjective experience, especially considering the psychological aspect to cannabinoid dependence.
    2) The people reporting anxiety and paranoia after smoking "Spice" products were just REALLY high.
    3) Cannabis dependence is real. I'm currently try to quit by weaning with "Spice" products and am interested in their cross-tolerance/dependence with THC but have not found and reports. For example, I have no smoked weed in 3 days, but have been smoking "Spice." I am still experiencing withdrawal symptoms, but to only a small, manageable degree. Once I'm THC and metabolite free, I'm curious as to what my experiences may be when I stop smoking "Spice." Any similar experiences?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    a couple of posts on the pharmacology of the synthetic cannabinomimetic compounds at the path forward blog
    http://lalaleigha.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/cannabinoid-agonists-and-jwh-018-part-1/
    http://lalaleigha.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/cannabinoid-agonists-and-jwh-018-part-2/

  • IAMME says:

    I'm gonna cut out the bullshit and skip the whole moral argument because stubborn, ignorant people with faulty morals think they are all high and mighty.
    1. Legalization of marijuana, a non habit forming drug, would prevent the creation of all these synthetic frankenstein drugs.
    2. This man is obviously an idiot for increasing dosage everyday. When dependency increases due to a decreasing effect in dosage you DO NOT increase the dosage. With any unknown experimental substance that's just senseless
    3. People need to take responsibility for their actions and need to stop worrying about the actions of others. Live and let live. If some piece of shit wants to intravenously inject himself with heroin, let him. If he fucks up, so be it. Another washed up, depressed individual dead. No more pain for him and more room for the strong people. Survival of the fittest. That is a bit extreme but people need to learn that prohibition DOESN'T work.
    4. I don't care what you think, so if I've said anything that has caused a misfire in your intolerant brain then forget it and move on with your life. This is one mans opinion and one man can't change shit on this planet. Unless of course he's an image propagandized by the media for all you tube drones.

  • IAMME says:

    Bridgette Arceneaux:
    Forget about it. There is nothing you can do. Perceptual learning is the only way we can truly learn something. If your child is smart enough, he/she will not let psychoactive substances get in the way of his prosperous future. .. if he wants to be prosperous. . .and if he wants a future. Just as adults can choose to plague their system with toxins from alcohol and tobacco, much more harmful substances than those of the media doomed ones. If cannabis or cannabis-like substances (NOT DRUGS

  • IAMME says:

    continued:
    (NOT DRUGS, cannabis) reflects negatively on your child's development, then present he/she with an ultimatum. Communication people. Parenting is only as hard as you make it.
    As for my parenthetical rant 'not drugs' - I shall expand. I hate the term drugs. Everything on this planet is a drug. We've coined sex addiction, game addiction, food addiction. When it comes to substances that are in the 'drug' category you must realize that 99% of the world is on a drug. A bad drug. A more taxing drug than cannabis. You have alcoholics, smokers, depressed people. . shit aren't we all, xanax prescriptions are booming in this intolerant existence. . .penis pill poppers, weight loss enthusiasts. Everyone takes some kind of drug. If you don't, more power to you; but to demoralize oneself by preaching on a topic one has no experience in is the worst drug of all. There are too many people with opinion and not enough with logic.

  • Anonymous says:

    I would worry more about a drug that's infecting all of our youth's minds: facebook. Facebook is a much more addictive internet getaway than cannabis consumption is as an inhalent. Its side effects include procrastination, poor, hastily done homework, and degradation of one on one vocal communication.

  • Alec says:

    This sounds like an EXTREMELY flawed study without any sort of proper procedure. What was the hypothesis? Where are the controls? Why is it that every time someone even mentions the word children everyone suddenly flies into a rage of seudo-science just to prove their THEORY? "A new drug? It must be like every other drug, and those are bad!" I've been an on and off marijuana smoker for most of my adult life, I've used as regularly as every day, and stopped for as long as 2 years without ever experiencing any withdraw.
    I tried K2 for the first time last night, and found it to be a similar high, but much more intense and not as relaxing as marijuana. It was however quite enjoyable. I do want more this morning, but it's hard to tell this early on if it's because of a physical craving or because of the excitement of finding a legal substitute that actually does get you high. Needless to say I am sitting here researching the drug, and writing this post rather then selling my computer to get more.
    All in all I hope someone does eventually synthesize a marijuana substitute that it is so addictive and dangerous it kills all of your filthy retard children. It serves you right for letting the most harmless drug on the planet become a source of crime and political propaganda for more then forty years.

  • STOP LYING WORMS says:

    You mean somebody did a case study on ONE individual and this is supposed to prove what? We already know through documented facts and the actual graves of about a gazillion dead people that alcohol, tobacco, and countless government approved pharmaceuticals are not only addictive as hell but WILL KILL YOU DEAD IF YOU TAKE JUST THE SLIGHTEST BIT TOO MUCH! and thats not taken over a drawn out time frame but instantaneously within minutes of ingesting! Is there a single documented case of death from and herbal blend or from straight jhw-018? So what is the point of your article exactly? Gloating over a single very bogus one sided study done on one individual is not only ridiculous but I think extremely embarrassing for anyone with a brain. You have got to be freakin kidding me man. Millions of Posting all over the internet by users that claim otherwise is way more solid scientific proof that the substance is indeed harmless and non addictive than your single chickensh--- propoganda study. People as a whole are sick and tired of worms and their lies. Sorry assholes but whole "reefer madness" angle no longer works in this day and age. Time citizens start standing up to and banning hypocrite politicians and all the lying ass suckers that bow to them.

  • Will says:

    I Enjoy eating about 10 mg of jwh 018. like a pot brownie

  • oildoob says:

    People these boards are always filled with Amazing information. Today ladies, today gentlemen. I am hear to tell you about the possible, and very plausible, dreaded, SIDE EFFECTS> the side effects for me personally was somewhat insane. Very re tarted phrases being repeated like on a time line of some sort, from voices unknown, and many voices. the voices. pulse, dehydration, skin chains, talking out loud, increased body temperature, skin rashes. I started freebasing small amounts of this powder to see if the colors would change if i was high. My Goal was to use a straw to inhale the smoke, from the melting bonsai food below, but the straw was not wide enough to inhale all the smoke from the tinfoil. So i grabbed my stash and scooped on another mountain of dust. I then placed my lips near the tinfoil. The flick of the bic, made a flame that melted the bonsai food into smoke. i inhaled so deeply. i repeated this process a few more fucking times, and buy the time i did 2 more, about 20 minutes after that. i was introduced to ernie, fred and teh whole fucking freek show. overall 7 out of 10 thinking about sprinkling the chemical in a solvent and spraying weed with it. but idk yet just like, idk i guess ill write agian.

  • Anonymous says:

    you are a bumbling idiot

  • Smokin25yrs says:

    I want to comment on a WMDKittey and DrugMonkey discussion that began near the start of this all.
    Both of you have your valid point, however I must streee that what WMDKittey said about marijuana and the pharmaceutical companies is pure truth.
    Marijuana is not something they can market, or make a profit. They being "Big Pharma". However this wonderful plant does what many of thier expensive, investment costly (we are talking in the hundreds of millions of dollers too) do, and so far they have failed to create viable substitute. While the side effects of what I call the "chemical cocktail",that is usually prescribed to a person suffering with one disorder or another, are unknown until the person starts taking them. Meanwhile the effects of marijuana are common fact for most people, and they are greatly less severe when compared to such things as: Depakote, Zoloft, Geodon, Ambilify...or any of the other commonly prescribed medications.
    Point is this: Marjiuana is safe by comparison to many substances (alcohol included) that people pump in thier bodies. However the economics of it all affects the politcal standing which in turn is linked to the legality of it all.
    Trickle down economics...keep it illegal cause if you dont..then big pharma suffers..and if they suffer..so do our politicians pockets who rely on the massive financial backing provided by the Pharmeceutical companies.
    Its not about weed..its about profit. Until Big Pharma finds a way to make its cut...legalization of medicinal marijuana will be an uphill fight.

  • mike says:

    I see alot of people talking about dependence, and not a lot question the whole point of it in my eyes. The point is, why are you concerned in someone is dependent on either one. To my knowledge, MJ hasn't been shown to be dangerous in ANY amount. Let people get addicted to it. Just because someone is addicted to something, doesn't justify alarm. Why aren't people so enthusiastic about alcohol addiction? Oh, yeah. It's legal. I'd prefer people be addicted to a harmless, natural drug that doesn't kill you and others in the process. End the pointless war on MJ. Let people decide for themselves, just as God intended with giving us FREE WILL. Stop giving the government control of your lives, just because you happen to agree with them.

  • smoker says:

    Take for instance,an archaic law prohibiting use of a naturaly ocuring plant used by millions to treat bordom ,some eye problems ,and chronic pain. A naturaly ocuring herb(marijuana).By baning and making it illegal ,the system has forced the smokers hand if you will.
    Its no surprise to me that a legal substitute has become so popular.The long term affects of jwh could be a lot worse than those of natural thc,we just dont know.We do know the long term affects of marijuana. sleepyness,the munchies,lazyness,and general disorginization are not enough of a reason to ban something that GOD made,and replace it with potentially harmfull substances. As long as the real thing is prohibited,smokers will find a way to avoid persecution,even at the risk of their own personal health.

  • We do know the long term affects of marijuana. sleepyness,the munchies,lazyness,and general disorginization are not enough of a reason to ban something that GOD made,and replace it with potentially harmfull substances.

    You forgot inability to spell.

  • Anonymous says:

    the author of this is a narrowminded idiot.

  • Drakieth says:

    Just for my own understanding could someone please either validate this conclusion or point out the parts that are wrong. From reading this entire article and the following posts it is still unclear as to long lasting health effects? I have decided that withdrawal effects are determined on a person to person basis (if they even exist) and that the effects under use are almost standard across the board. You take a couple hits and you get an intense high for about an hour and then you come down and feel slight effects for 3-4 more. You take too much and your body decides to tell you its had enough with either insane heartrate, nausea or panic. Ive been on alot of different sites and this seems to be standard for all users. This being said where is the huge risk involved with k2?

  • platy says:

    natural marijuana is far superior but here is a lyout of my observations! 1(A)do research much research from people of disiplined knowledge 1(b)remember that any authority on any subject started off knowing little about the subect they fully devoted thier whole being into learning the particular subject in their own way after thay learned from others 1(c)do not read one thing from one authority and take it to heart fullly exhaust ur research then when u understand the fact that all the knowledge in the world is different from fully understanding it this is something that solely comes from EXPERIENCE wich MUST BE GAINED AT SACRIFICES SOMETIMES! 2(A)k2 is 100% legal unscheduled unregulated yes it will get u stoned 2(B)it is not a natural blend of herbs 2(c)according to major top 5 toxicology reports it is extremly non toxic 3 (a)it is extremly stupid to injest this without doing extensive research 3(B) the active ingredient is jwh-018 a synthetic cannibinoid wich stimulates the cannibinoid receptor num 1 almost exclusively but on a way different level and way more intense then thc 3(C) it should be more comon place knowledge what a "dose" is although it is recomended not to injest it is perfectly legal to do so like anything else say bleach for instance if one chose to drink bleach then well obviously it is no good for them in anyway but it is thier choice 3(D) there should be more warning cause of the fact one to two hits of extremly unregulated incense u can buy at the store that is also extremly weak will get u lit 4(A)selling the pure chemical to anyone without these warinings on how to be safe is fucking retarted 1 milligram is a STRONG dose 1/1000th of a gram name one average person 18 yo who knows what the fuck a mg is mt research is extremly anonomous and deals more in psyhcology than it does chemically my willing test subjects do not wish to be exposed despite the legal status of the substance 4(B) i have no accurate scales to this degree there is a vast weight difference from possible way below a milligram to 50 mg i can accuratly weigh to 1/4 gram split that in half to approx 125 mg all the way down to randomly1 to 10 mg and some building up of much larger doses to 50 to 60 mg??? 5(C) a dose this large is way to intense not thc like at all but very easy to see how peep can be twisted up crazy FUCK A LARGE DOSE this is coming from someone who has extensive firsthand knowledge of MAJOR USE OF VARIOUS CHEMICALS from meth to lsd 25 in small doses and in extremly large unheard of doses 6(D) if someone ordered this and had no clue what a dose was got an extremly pure sample and decided to try it randomly say throw 100 mg not knowing anything true they wont die but THEY WILL GO FAR BEYOND ANYTHING NATURAL MARIJUANA CAN DO final thoughts>>>if there were more warnings this could be a safe alternitive to substance abuse it virtually has no addiction pretense like most substances its more a hey im bored fight now but like lsd for example it is challenging mentally and FUN unlike meth or ciggeretes where u wake up craving them main reason why i think is its so different and intense ur mind stays clear during a dose but u cant really function in real time serious time lapse..though u seem to have full control of ur thoughts it opens up ur mind in an odd way floodgate of information.......stranger still is how a particular subject who has an extreme disbelief in any "legal weed" having tried herbal smokes that obviously dont do anything a chronic pot smoker looks for..but that this subject is willing taking a very strong dose 10 to 20 mg?randomly after taking a couple extremly small tip of the knife doses and reports to feel "maby" a slight head change this is interesting due to the fact some of my other willing subjects who smoke only high grade marijuana to large extremes said they were so stoned they tried to crawl out of thier skin subjects>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>I LOOSLY USE THE TERM SUBJECT I AM NOT QUALIFIED IN ANY WAY I MERELY ASK PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE TO DO SOMETHING ON THIER OWN IF THEY MIND ANSWERING MY QUESTIONS POSSIBLY LISTEN TO MY SUGGESTIONS AND CARRY THEM OUT IF THEY WISH TO I ADMINISTER NOTHING I SELL NOTHING I FREELY GIVE AS A GIFT HOMADE INCENSE THAT IS NOT SPRAYED BUT VERY CLEAN AND EVENLY INFUSED NO IILEGAL CHEMICAL REACTIONS OR CHEMICALS ARE USED I HAVE TO TEST BEFORE I GIVE ANYTHING TO ANY ONE AND I TELL THEM IT IS INCENSE TO KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND USE IN EXTREME MODERATION THAT I DO NOT RECCOMEND THEY INJEST IT AS NOTHING IS KNOWN ABOUT IT REALLY BUT IF THEY CHOOSE TO THEN WHAT IS CONSIDERED TO BE SAFE NOT TO DRIVE MIX ANYTHING EVEN ALCOHOL AND THAT STORE BOUGHT IS EXTREMELY BADLY MADE USUALLY JUST SPRAY A MIXTURE OF CHEMICALS ON A CRAZY BLEND OF LOW QUALITY HERBS

  • Micah says:

    If you're prone to habituate, you habituate - you form deep, lasting habits that are PSYCHOLOGICALLY hard to break...but they're still NOT physical addictions I've you're prone to stupidity/idiocy, you do stupid/idiotic things - take drugs that they have had no control over the manufacturing, distribution, quality control, etc. Basically, they're looking for that self-fulfilling prophecy of becoming brain dead so they won't have to deal with reality/responsibility. I smoked pot...6 or 7 years...until it just wasn't any fun any more and quit with ZEEro effects or antics. It was just a habit, no biggie. IMHO, other than for medical use, marijuana is for people that need a 'crutch' to make it from daylight to darkness, from 'can see' to 'can't see', 'cause they don't like what they see between times. They have no experience entertaining themselves and don't want to make the effort...it's too much work...it's easier to NOT take any responsibility for their own entertainment/happiness. Living in a stupor isn't living - it's barely existing.

  • Marilyn says:

    Look, I seriously don't care about the plausibility of dependence. It's a possibility, as shown this case example, that a pretty heavy physiological dependence can happen. I do believe cannabis dependence actually exists but i don't think that it is nearly as extreme as the possible addiction to spice.
    Honestly I'm against spice because I had one of the most terrifying experiences on spice, and as time goes on I think more cases like mine are appearing. I have been a 2-3 times weekly (at least) pot smoker for 2-3 years. My system can handle the affects of THC, even in large or strong quantities and sometimes for a long duration of time. I have never had any endangering risk. As soon as i took just ONE HIT of spice my visuals went so crazy i lost consciousness and was unresponsive to my environment when my boyfriend was talking to me, i ended up having a slight seizure and my breathing went down to an astonishing rate. I was so out of my mind I blacked out and don't remember the paramedics coming to hall me out or that I was so resilient and cussed them all out and thrashing they not only had to strap me down but they had to drug me just to calm me down. It took me probably five hours to even come to. I ended up in the hospital and I didn't know who or where I was.
    So, spice has JWH-018 which is a more potent form of THC. THC in itself increases heart rate. Well since spice has the same affect apparently as THC, it did the same thing except since it was more potent it made my body have a seizure almost to the point where i could have had a heart attack. I have never been to the hospital in my life, never had any heart or spasm problems and I have never done any hard drugs and only had smoked pot. There have been more cases of people of people ending up in the hospital from spice and I think the costs really do outweigh the supposed benefits. Doing a drug that has not even been tested to see the real side effects is a real fucking gamble and personally i'll never take that risk again.

  • Cin says:

    My 18 yr old son is addicted to jwh018. He is so taken by it that he is losing everything. College scholarship, relationships, and even more. He came and asked for help recently. He was having many withdrawal symptoms when he tried to quit. He was extremely agitated. Wanted to die. Scared to sleep. Lots more.
    One of the reasons he knew he had to quit is the fact that his stomach is torn up. He can't eat and has lost 15lbs in the 4 months he's been using it. Well, he lost that weight towards the end.
    Don't do it guys. He may never be the same. You who use it and love it, ask yourself if it's worth the real chances of permanently altering your brain chemistry.

  • Cin says:

    Oh, btw, it is the only drug he was using because at his school they do random testing and he was afraid to do anything else.
    Also, he heard voices in his head and kept repeating that none of us could possibly understand how bad he felt.
    He believed all the people who said it was harmless. It seemed to be for the first couple of months.

  • Lew says:

    Here's some anecdotal information. I've tried jwh-018 twice now, each time mixing it into some Scotch. The first dose was, apparently, so small as to have no effect at all. I increased the amount 4-5 fold two days later at aprox 6pm and experienced no effect again. However, at 5am, almost 12 hrs later, I awoke and was very intoxicated. This high lasted until around 9 - 10am.

  • This was an enjoyable read, well written, and "kudos"!
    People need to get to the base of the argument, I thinks, though?
    Alcohol dependency is so common, that in the state I live in here in the US, being drunk is an excuse to get off for vehicular homicide.
    Cigarettes....nuff said.
    Leave the regulation alone, it's being taxed, all parties involved make money from it.
    Also, "dependence" on "substances" usually is an affront towards some psychological condition inherent in the subject which need to be addressed much more than the substance they're depending on.
    This is, of course, my opinion.

  • Andrew says:

    #87 - Well said, I would surely agree that anyone experimenting with a mind-altering substance, needs to understand there is an inherent psychological risk. As for myself, I don't have any experience with chemical dependencies aside from quitting cigarettes.. which really didn't seem that hard, even after smoking a pack a day for 4 years (I'm lucky? I dunno). Also, a note on addiction, which might have already been said (#82), physiological and psychological addictions are different in that, anything and everything can be psychologically addictive to someone..depending on how it changes their brain chemistry during their experience and how dependent they become on that feeling (that experience aka that brain chemistry). Everyone is different, and anything can affect anyone differently.. not advocating the use of k2/spice, or any drug, though I have done many. But I would like to mention that if you are unsure of how something like this will affect you.. be careful, make sure you understand the drug, possibly more importantly..understand yourself/your mindset (to a comfortable degree), have a backup plan if stuff gets too crazy for you? and just be careful i guess..
    #64 Maybe try getting some good exercise for endorphins.. and have some sort of creative outlet to express yourself and your ideas that you can really enjoy. That has helped a friend of mine.
    also a last note: pot > k2/spice by far :) IMO.. but being reckless with anything is never a good idea

  • [...] more reading, go to these posts by us, DrugMonkey, and Dr. [...]

  • [...] my readers are aware, these products are capable of producing dependence with a profile, including withdrawal effects, that are typical of cannabis [...]

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  • kant says:

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  • Christian says:

    Info: 22 year old male; 12 months since I started

    I am currently on day 11 of my detoxing from this insanity that is surprisingly not off the shelves. I really would only wish this on my worst enemies (I'm not a hypocrite), because it does sweep you off your feet, and before you know it, it's making you lie to people you love and searching everywhere for pennies around your house so you can get yourself another tiny high. It eventually only gives you head aches instead and decreases your immune system to the point of feeling like your lungs are crumbling inside. At one point I literally was afraid to move at all because any movement would leave me coughing my lungs inside out. Shivers everywhere. Chronic fatigue to the point of sleeping almost at any time.

    Back to now. I'm experiencing withdrawal symptoms. First 5 days I felt great; more energy and less cloudiness in my thoughts. Days 6-8 I felt an enormous depression and anxiety. Day 9-10 great. Today I woke up from a dream where I went to a local pipe store and did it, my body literally screamed through shivers of anxiety that it needed a hit. I had to stretch myself out and breather just to ease the cravings, and instead exercised a bit.

    With all that said, don't even start this demeaning drug. It is dangerous and not worth it. If anything just stay with the real deal, I don't care how illegal it is, it is not K2 and that's that.

    I'm staying away from anything as much as possible.

    Chris, TX
    chrortiz1@yahoo.com

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