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Drug testing and legal issues surround and discourage the use of marijuana. With many companies, schools, and law enforcement agents cracking down on the drug, the need for an alternative means to get “high” has arisen. Many legal marijuana alternatives are highly dangerous and it is important to understand the health risks involved with synthetic substances before using them to avoid a positive drug test.

Synthetic cannabinoids usually combine a mix of spices, chemicals, and herbs that contain THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana. While these herbs contain the THC that relaxes the brain and reduces short-term memory, they may not be safe for consumption and most of the herbs contain hallucinogens that are not similar to marijuana, but rather are closer to LSD.

One common alternative is known as “K-2” or “Spice.” These alternatives are usually sold as an incense that isn’t meant for human consumption, so it is legal for all ages to buy the product. The mixture contains unknown herbs sprayed with synthetic substances similar to THC. Common side effects include vomiting, seizures, and delusions. This synthetic marijuana is known by many names and marketed as a number of different brands, which are slowly being outlawed by a number of states.

Most alternatives will include JWH-018, which also carries a similar effect to THC. These alternatives tend to act in a similar fashion to K-2, harming the central nervous system. This can affect the immune system and other areas of the body, including the brain. The chemical is still being researched and experimented on, thus is not legal for human consumption. Because of the lack of knowledge, JWH-018 is often sprayed on herbal compounds such as K-2 or Spice for recreational use.

Other herbs can also be a legal alternative to marijuana without the use of synthetic chemicals. One plant, Calea ternifolia, which is also known as “Dream Herb,” is usually used as a sleeping agent that has a mild hallucinogen effect similar to “Seer’s Sage” or Salvia divinorum. While legal in the USA along with several other countries, the plant has many side effects similar to LSD. Studies are so far inconclusive for the long term effects of smoking the plant. Like many herbal alternatives, dosages are untested and overdosing on the plant is relatively easy for those who are not educated properly on the drug.

There are many dangers to using synthetic marijuana, chemicals, and plants with hallucinogenic properties. While the substances can be obtained legally, they have adverse side effects that can cause severe harm to one’s body.

About the Author:

This article was written and provided to Who Needs Oxygen by one of our writing partners Hayley Granton who is a former drug counselor, author and blogger. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, Delray Recovery Center may help. For more information on the harmful effects of drugs, visit http://www.drugscope.org.uk.

To learn more about guest posting for us, please visit our Write for Us page.

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