What Are Some Side Effects of K2, or Synthetic Marijuana?


Quick Answer

Side effects of synthetic marijuana, or K2, include vomiting, anxiety, high blood pressure, agitation and seizures, according to Drugs.com. K2 has also been linked to rapid heart rate and heart attacks. In teenagers, side effects of synthetic marijuana can also include headaches, dizziness, varying degrees of catatonia, slowed speech and confusion.

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Synthetic marijuana is a drug made from grass clippings, tea leaves and other dried plant material sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids, according to National Public Radio. Synthetic marijuana is different than naturally grown marijuana because it does not contain the natural cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol normally found in marijuana, according to National Institute of Drug Abuse. People use synthetic marijuana by either smoking the shredded plant material or vaping the liquid form using vape pens or e-cigarettes. In addition to K2, synthetic marijuana is also available under the brand names Spice, Black Mamba, Joker and Kush.

Synthetic marijuana is addictive, states National Institute of Drug Abuse. While on synthetic marijuana, individuals may experience paranoia, psychosis, confusion, hallucinations and altered perception. In addition, individuals may have more severe symptoms, such as kidney damage, violent behavior and suicidal thoughts. Those who are long-time users may experience severe withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit, such as headache, irritability, anxiety and depression. As of December 2015, it is illegal to use synthetic marijuana.

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