Synthetic cannabinoids: The dangers of spicing it up

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cannabinoids are the most commonly used illegal substances in the world. Spice and K2 are synthetic cannabinoid (SC) products that contain a mixture of herbs and plant matter combined with synthetic compounds similar to tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Because the eff ects of Spice and K2 are similar to cannabis, many users are smoking these products as legal substitutes despite package labeling that they are not designed for human consumption. These SC products appeal to users because they are easily accessible and not readily detected in standard urine drug screens. The active components in SC products are highly potent and poorly characterized. Use of these agents has been associated with serious psychological and physiological side eff ects. Because abuse of SC products has become a national public health issue, nurses should be aware of the eff ects of SC compounds and must take a lead role in educating patients about the dangers of their use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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