PSYCH/610 Research Methods in Psychology April 21, 2014 Professor Krista Bridgmon
Introduction Synthetic marijuana (cannabis) is also known as K2 or spice on the streets. Synthetic marijuana has many different names on the streets: Spice, Skunk, Mambo, Diablo, Fire, K2, and fake weed. Synthetic marijuana is sold on the market as being safe, legal alternative to marijuana. “The product contains dried, shredded plant material that has been sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids, synthesized chemical compounds that bind to the same cannabinoid receptors as THC (CESAR, 2012).” Synthetic cannabinoids were first developed in a laboratory for medical benefits. Smoking synthetic marijuana has been related empirically to being the cause of strokes and psychosis in healthy young people. Synthetic marijuana is banned in most states in the Unites States, the manufacturers change the chemical compounds and put it back on the market labeled as “not for human consumption” to get around FDA guidelines, however it is designed precisely for human consumption, it is physically addictive and has health risks, both physical and psychological. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effect synthetic marijuana has on the person’s psychological and physical health, such as psychosis and stroke. The research will also try and find a common link regarding relapse triggers, and different methods that have been found to be successful in controlling the triggers and urges to use it again. This information will be gathered from interviews with people battling synthetic marijuana addiction.
Synthetic marijuana has been linked to psychosis and strokes when smoked. This information is discussed in the article Synthetic Cannabinoids (Synthetic Cannabinoids, 2012).
Case studies done by the University of South Florida neurologists have linked smoking synthetic marijuana to strokes in healthy, young adults. This information is discussed by USF Health neurologists, who through case studies have linked smoking synthetic marijuana with to causing strokes in young, healthy people (DeLotto Baier, 2013).
Even though labeled not for human consumption it is designed to be smoked as a substance, by humans, as a mind altering substance. This information is discussed in the article Synthetic Marijuana, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (Macher, Burke, & Owen, 2012).
Synthetic marijuana is sold in gas stations, convenience stores, and tobacco shops across the United States. Synthetic marijuana is often used by people who are want to get high and beat a drug test, or by young adults who are lead to believe it is safe to use. This information is discussed in the article Synthetic Marijuana, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (Macher, Burke, & Owen, 2012).
The effects of synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones, such as bath salts, are unpredictable due to a constantly changing variety of chemicals used in manufacturing processes devoid of quality controls and government regulatory oversight. The chemical formula used to spray the synthetic marijuana is changed by manufacturers to get around FDA regulations. This information is found in a report by the Office of National Drug Control Policy regarding the use of synthetic drugs (Synthetic Drugs, 2012).
Synthetic marijuana users who have sought treatment from the Poison Control Center have reported symptoms that include rapid heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, confusion, being agitated, and hallucinating. It has also been reported to reduce blood supplied to the heart and cause blood pressure to be elevated. This information is found in the article Spice by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, The science of drug addiction and abuse (Drugfacts, 2012).
The American Association of Poison Control