Synthetic pot, or “fake weed” like K2 and Spice, much riskier than marijuana, CDC study finds – CBS News
Marijuana is often seen as a relatively benign drug that produces a typically mellow high, but new U.S. government research shows that the drugs called synthetic pot appear to be much different.
Teens who use synthetic pot are at a heightened risk for violent behavior, risky sex and abuse of other drugs, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study revealed.
Synthetic pot — sometimes called fake weed — covers a variety of drugs sold under hundreds of brand names. Spice and K2 were common brands in the past. Some of the chemicals in fake weed are similar to those in marijuana.
These drugs are often marketed as natural and safe. But, they have unpredictable, and in some cases, life-threatening effects, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
And, they have become popular among teens because they are cheap and readily available, the NIDA warns.
“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,” said lead researcher Heather Clayton. She’s a health scientist at the CDC.
About one in 10 high school students has reported using fake weed, she said.
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