One thing about drug abuse is that it has a tendency to take on new dimensions just when you thought you have heard them all. This is true with what is known as “spice abuse.” Abusing spice is similar to abusing marijuana but it contains no THC. This is, in fact, an herbal mixture that you can buy legally in smoke shops, gas stations, and in head shops. You may not have heard of this herbal mixture referred to as “spice” before but it is also called K2, synthetic marijuana, herbal incense, or potpourri.
Spice is a dried plant substance that is shredded and then chemicals are added to it. This is what gives those who abuse spice its mind altering effect. The mind altering effect is what makes this so popular. Spice abuse is popular even though the package contains the warning, “Not safe for human consumption” on it. People that would rather smoke marijuana but cannot because they cannot chance testing positive for THC are the group that substitutes abusing marijuana with spice abuse. There are others that buy spice because it is readily available, cheap and legal. Abusing spice is very popular with minors under the age of 18 and the military.
Abusing spice has been happening for a couple of decades now but only for the past four or five years has spice abuse been even more popular. The popularity gained momentum initially in Europe. While many states have banned the use of spice, the Federal government has not. Many believe that the reason for this is lack of knowledge about spice abuse and the damage that it can do.
Those who abuse spice are not aware of the dangerous chemicals that make up this designer drug. Spice is filled with research chemicals and as the labels read, it is not safe for human consumption. Marketing labels try to push the claim that spice is filled with natural plant materials but there are numerous synthetic compounds including the chemicals HU-210 and JWH-018 make spice abuse even more dangerous.
The main way to get high from spice is to smoke it like one would smoke marijuana. One survey reported that of all high school seniors in the US, more than 11% had abused spice in the last year. One of the main problems with spice abuse is that there is not much, if any; research is being done about abusing spice. This makes the spice abuse even more unpredictable and therefore even more hazardous. The lack of testing of spice is apparent but this is because testing is not conducted on non-regulated drugs like spice.
Many people look at spice abuse as a non-toxic and safe substitute for smoking marijuana and this is completely fictitious. The opposite is true regarding spice abuse and the effects can be literally toxic. It is quite common for people who abuse spice to suffer from mood swings, accelerated heart rates, anxiety, vomiting, and hallucinations. Because there is so little known about abusing spice there is a lot left to speculation and this can be extremely dangerous and possibly even fatal since spice is not manufactured in a controlled setting.