There has been a rise in the use of synthetic cannabis (also called spice, K2, black mamba, fake weed). Go to YouTube and do a search for addiction and/or overdose information related to the use of synthetic cannabis. How does the impact (binge/intoxication stage, withdrawal/negative affect stage, and preoccupation/anticipation stage) of synthetic cannabis compare to the information presented in your text on cannabis? As a healthcare professional, what are your concerns about synthetic cannabis?
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Black mamba, k2, or spice are terms used to describe synthetic cannabis. The strain of cannabis is mainly made up of various chemicals 40% Sativa., 60% indica a hallucinogenic, and the remaining are THC and CBD. Individuals who abuse synthetic weed pursue it for its initial high which is very impactful to the individual’s perceptions (Bruno, 2019). People who use the drug due to recreational purposes or to alleviate depression and stress may easily get hooked to the drug due to its hallucinogen and its ability to make them high quickly.
In the addiction cycle of spice i.e., in the binge stage., the individuals are motivated by the rewards of the drug which are the hallucinogenic effects that are generally pleasurable and fun Black mamba also inclines the individuals to be more productive with a hyper-focus towards their associated tasks. At this stage., addiction is prevalent among consumers. During the negative effect stage, the drug is associated with numerous side effects which are difficult to distinguish between withdrawal and an overdose. Temporary withdrawal symptoms may include., anxiety, increased heart rate, and blood pressure associated with aggression. In this stage, the consumer uses the drug to alleviate the common symptoms among other mental deprivations such as depression due to the effect on the brains rewarding systems (MentalHelp.net., n.d). The Preoccupation stage is the stage in which individuals are hooked and can end up overdosing on the drug rampantly. The overdosing effects of spice are very unpredictable with individuals resenting symptoms such as seizures, paranoia, vomiting, and Sudden cardiac arrest for people who overdose with spice (Vice, 2015). In comparison to cannabis spice is significantly more potent with numerous dangerous and unpredictable effects due to its chemical composition.
As a health professional., the issue of abuse of synthetic cannabis is very important to curb to minimize the cost of treatment for substance abuse patients and also improve the health outcomes. In several regions, the legal high of spice is not restricted due to the high demand and poor drug regulations. As such drug regulations that restrict the use of spice as a recreational substance should be illegal in all states and nations. The health impact of the drug is devastating in numerous aspects from the social and economic lives of individuals., therefore policies are important to minimize the availability of the drug which leads to the low rates of synthetic cannabis consumption.
Bruno. R. (2019). Synthetic Cannabinoids – Myths Vs Science By Dr. Raimondo Bruno. Dr. Sanil Rege’s Hub. [youtube]. Accessed from: https://youtu.be/42seKWI0hLY
MentalHelp.net. (n.d.). Spice Overdose, Withdrawal, and Detox. Accessed from: https://www.mentalhelp.net/substance-abuse/spice/overdose/
Vice. (2015). The Hard Lives of Britain’s Synthetic Marijuana Addicts. [youtube] Accessed from: https://youtu.be/t6pmc7Tpx4w