Recently the craze of finding a legal way to get stoned has grown in the cannabis community. Whether we’re looking for a stronger smoke, a more available source that won’t dry up or just due to curiosity a good proportion of us will have tried synthetic cannabis in one form or another. ‘K2’, ‘Black Mama’ and ‘Fools Gold’, these are just a few brand names of this very available psychoactive substance which has somehow managed to slip through the net and landed on the shelves at your local head shop, which is just as easy to get hold of as alcohol or tobacco. Five strong tokes flew down my throat as I inhaled deep with slight excitement that was being shared in the circle of people I stood in. When the joint was finished and flicked across my field of vision by a friend a long orange strand left by the burning ember stood suspended in the air changing from deep red to orange. This was when I knew the effects weren’t just an urban myth. ‘Black Mamba’ really did deliver when it came to intoxication. As heart rates increased, eyes became red and vision trailed. Soon followed explosive random laughter with no stimulus and content happy thoughts for around half an hour. A gradual detox occurred but partial effects remained for a good two hours. The feeling was a partial emulation of the ‘high’ from cannabis but seemed to have dark, powerful and psychedelic undertones. So what exactly is this product? Is it just me that envisions three insane scientists with over active hair styles and dirty white coats creating it at the top of a church tower from a surge of raw crackling lightning screaming simultaneously “IT’S ALIVE” upon its creation? Or is it something far less sinister than that?
Synthetic cannabis is claimed by the manufacturers to contain a mixture of ‘traditionally used medicinal herbs’ that when smoked together provide a cannabis-like intoxication. However, when the product was analysed by laboratories in Germany it showed that many of the ingredients listed on the packet were not in the actual product. To list all the synthesised cannabinoids in this product would probably take up the rest of the space I have to write this article so here’s just a few: Cannabicyclohexanol, JWH-018, JWH-073, HU-210 and a handful of other sci-fi like names. Just reading this brief list of ingredients makes me slightly cautious of this mysterious drug’s enigmatic chemical make-up. The physical product itself is made from an average and non-toxic ‘host’ herb such as parsley or tea and other dried herbs you’d find on your gran’s spice rack. These harmless herbs are then sprayed or coated with a solution of these cannabinoids.
As a long term weed supporter and truly believing in cannabis as the safest and ultimate medicinal herb, which needs all propaganda around it to be swept away, potentially dangerous THC substitutes like this don’t exactly help in this process. In my opinion these things will come and go but cannabis will never cease to grow and be appreciated. I, like many others still don’t know of any long term side effects of this substance. However, if you do choose it as your method of relaxation or recreational smoke take caution because after all if you read the back of the packet it does state clearly “Not for human consumption” which really makes you think… should you be putting it in your lungs?