Annual Use of Cannabimimetic (Spice/K2, etc) Products in 12th Graders

Dec 22 2011 Published by under Cannabis, Public Health, Uncategorized

The Monitoring the Future study has added the synthetic marijuana products (see here, here, here for additional) to their annual survey. Data on annual use rates are now available for the 12th grader segment. I have taken the liberty of graphing the annual use rates for a selection of the more common drugs in this 2011 dataset.
What you can see (click on the graph to see a bigger version) is that these products are more popular than a host of drugs that have a considerably longer history. These packets of plant material spritzed with one or more full endocannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists (see dr leigh here, here for details) only really appeared on the US market in 2010 in broad availability.

Not too shabby to already be beating these other drugs, eh?

Unfortunately the full monographs aren't available yet and the update tables for "lifetime" and "30 day" do not appear to include the synthetic marijuana category yet. Nevertheless, it's a good thing that this drug category has been added to the survey. As we go forward it will be interesting to see if popularity continues or if this was a brief flash in the pan related to broad quasi-licit availability of these products.

These data will also provide a nice comparison to more limited investigations such as this one. Hu et al (2011) report 8% cannabimimetic use in a sample of 852 college students collected in September of 2010.
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The Annual Prevalence table is here.

MtF 2011 update page

To the Maximus Foundation (@FakeWeed)

21 responses so far

  • Isabel says:

    Trying to avoid a drug record is a strong motivator for a young person I would assume. According to the National Organization for the reform of Marijuana Laws, 800,000 mostly young and heavily black and Latino people are arrested in the US each year for cannabis possession. All these young people are subsequently saddled with a "drug record". Ooooh drug record- we don't want to hire/enroll/date THAT evil loser, right?

    I had a need for a bit more money this semester so I filled out a FAFSA application for federal student aid. Yes, there is indeed a question that demands to know if the applicant has a Drug Record. An arrest for cannabis possession, fits the bill, and will not be distinguished from dealing coke or cooking meth, or even beheading a few drug cartel rivals, and will result in a denial of funding. No other offenses are ever even asked about in the application.

    I say: Good for these smart 12th-graders !

  • drugmonkey says:

    You would, but that is because you are categorically impervious to the notion that these products could possibly have any adverse consequences for the user. Naturally, they do have such consequences including dependence, acute trauma (see the Maxiumus foundation link) and lots of weird unpleasant effects that are similar to high dose MJ (see comment threads on David Kroll's posts linked in the post, also this commentary from a state public health guy on the front lines of this issue). Analytic labs are identifying a growing catalog of the active substances in these products and the uneven distribution even within packet which means that dose-control is a dodgy proposition at best. These 12th graders are hardly "smart" but they are certainly typical for the class. Some of them will be just fine and some of them will have serious and lasting consequences of their use of synthetic cannabis products.

  • Isabel says:

    So what would be the best way to help these 12-graders who are trying to circumvent the law for excellent reasons (see above)? They are between a rock and a hard place. DM's advice to young people: "Just say no, kids!"

  • drugmonkey says:

    What "excellent reasons"?

  • Isabel says:

    You can't be asking that seriously. I *just* explained why! Those aren't good enough reasons for you????

  • drugmonkey says:

    You explain the reason for needing to avoid legal entanglement but have failed to explain the "excellent reasons" that 12th graders have for smoking MJ or Spice in the first place.

  • Isabel says:

    "You explain the reason for needing to avoid legal entanglement"

    The many, many EXCELLENT reasons. Yes, there is a lot to weigh. The risk of health consequences vs the chance of being arrested and possibly jailed and having one's future derailed. There is a lot for these young people to figure out. Sadly, it is all completely unnecessary, even illogical and counterproductive.

    I would agree with you that it would be better to try to register as a medical user; but that option is not available to all teens.

  • Isabel says:

    "explain the "excellent reasons" that 12th graders have for smoking MJ"

    I *never* said kids shout use any drugs. They should avoid them as much as possible, at least while still maturing, including alcohol. They should also be taught real facts about drugs and how to use them as safely as possible. Adults should appraise the situation realistically when offering guidance however, obviously.

    But in any case, even occasional experimentation can lead to trouble with the law.

    Did you catch that NYT discussion that I linked to in the other thread, DM? The original letter writer that the others were reacting to reminded me of you, and that's not a compliment.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    So you are favoring "just say no" are you Isabel? Interesting.

  • Isabel says:

    No I am not. I would strongly advise moderation, especially with young teens, but give accurate information and support; and I would expect experimentation. And I would ban outrageous "punishments" like police arrests, withholding student loans, coercing young people into treatment programs and all drug testing.

    here's an interesting perspective:

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/153498/study:_why_teen_pot_smoking_could_be_a_good_thing_%28and_what_we_can_learn_from_teens_who_choose_weed_over_beer%29?page=entire

  • Isabel says:

    re police corruption - on the site I just linked to you can also learn that 1 in 7 arrests in NYC are for marijuana possession in public view. How does this happen??? Police use some twisted new Stop and Frisk law to harass black and latino youth and then order them to empty their pockets and THEN arrest them for pot in public view.

    Unbelievable!!!

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/153381/police_commissioners_order_was_not_enough_nypd_continues_to_make_thousands_of_illegal_racially_biased_pot_arrests_?page=2

  • (1) If weed were legal, no one would be smoking these fucked uppe nasty-ass crazy-making shiite.

    (2) Twelfth graders have excellent reasons for sparking uppe fatteis.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Right Isabel, just like the old days when redneck sheriffs would bash people's taillight out and cite them. I fail to see where this has anything specific to do with cannabis. Bad policing is bad policing no matter the law in question.

  • Isabel says:

    "Bad policing is bad policing no matter the law in question."

    This is SO ignorant! The scale is MUCH bigger, the corruption is officially encouraged at all levels - not only that police are given endless carrots for catching drug users to the extent that they IGNORE real crime.

    Did you catch "800,000 young people" "heavily black and Latino" - that's nearly a million poor and minority youth per year unfairly arrested and given a permanent black mark that will derail their futures!!!

    Look, I am trying to enlighten you, but you are making it a lot harder by not reading the links I provide. These are carefully selected; I am not spamming you. You need to read that Huff post article I linked to in the other thread. It gives a good summary of SOME aspects of the police corruption and loss of citizens rights over the last decades- it is WAY BEYOND headlight smashing. I need to hear that you read it, and that after reading it you still don't care.

    With you training you could be part of the solution. But at the moment being under the influence of the corrupt, enabling NIDA you are part of the problem. Forget George Bush and the Partriot Act. That was just the icing on the cake. The Drug War against the American people is the cake.

  • drugmonkey says:

    What "influence" am I "under", exactly?

  • Isabel says:

    Let's discuss that *after* we discuss the above link. If all goes well, those insights will follow naturally, at a later stage in your enlightenment.

    Now get reading! There is no excuse for ignorance.

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