Teens Going Crazy Over Synthetic Marijuana? Experts Say 'Fake Weed' Riskier Than Real Cannabis

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald March 14, 07:50 am
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A photo showing synthetic marijuana. It is popular amongst teenagers.
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Experts claim a new synthetic drug called "fake weed" is even riskier than the real and organic marijuana. Authorities confirm unlike the mellow high that comes from using marijuana, the synthetic pot or the fake weed causes users to react violently, have risky intercourse and abuse of the substance.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in their study the synthetic weed, most often called Spice and K2, has the same chemicals as marijuana. Thus, those who sell these drugs claimed the fake weed to be natural and safe just like marijuana in order to sell more.

However, that is not the case according to the United States National Institute Drug Abuse as fake weed have unpredictable and life-threatening effects. The synthetic marijuana is quite popular due to its low price and availability.

Lead researcher, Heather Clayton, said one in 10 high school students reported using fake weed in their study, which involved 16,000 high school students surveyed in 2015. Clayton shared, "The findings indicate that students who report using synthetic marijuana are possibly on a very concerning health trajectory, which is particularly serious given that synthetic marijuana use is relatively common among adolescents."

Researchers found out teens who used fake weed became more prone to injuries or be violent while on school property. They also found out teens who used fake weed started using marijuana as young as 13-years-old and the frequency is much higher than those using real and organic marijuana, CBS News reported.

Clayton cleared the study does now show synthetic marijuana causing risk behaviors in teens but it is important for health professionals to use the information from their study to reduce synthetic marijuana use. Researchers also discovered that depression is also one of the adverse effects of using fake marijuana and the study will help school officials to come up with programs to help teenagers under their care, CNN shared.

Dr. Scott Krakower, the assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, advised parents to closely monitor their children and be wary when it comes to the changes in the mood and attitude of their children. Krakower added parents should immediately contact a physician if they notice behavioral changes including aggression, agitation or paranoia in their children.

Fake weed is illegal in the United States. The drugs remain present in the country because of the changes made in the packaging of the synthetic marijuana.

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