Synthetic Marijuana

K2-50 / K3 / K2P

What is Synthetic Marijuana?

The synthetic version of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, K2/Spice or K3, is a mixture of plant material sprayed with synthetic psychoactive chemicals. Often looks like potpourri and typically labeled “not for human consumption.” Dangerous to purchase from Internet because its origins and chemical amounts are unknown. The ingredients and strength of products containing synthetic cannabinoids are almost impossible for the user to know.

Cut-Off Levels (ng/mL)

200, 300 ng/mL (Urine)

10 ng/mL (Saliva)

Window of Detection

1 – 3 Days (Urine)

1 – 2 Days (Saliva)

How is it Used?

Synthetic cannabis is used similarly to authentic natural cannabis. It is primarily smoked in rolled cigarettes, glass pipes, bowls, and bongs. Users may also try to ingest to experience effects.

What are the Effects?

Synthetic cannabinoids act on the same brain cell receptors as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the mind-altering ingredient in marijuana.

So far, there have been few scientific studies of the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on the human brain, but researchers do know that some of them bind more strongly than marijuana to the cell receptors affected by THC and can produce much stronger effects. The resulting health effects can be unpredictable and dangerous.

Because the chemical composition of many synthetic cannabinoid products is unknown and may change from batch to batch, these products are likely to contain substances that cause dramatically different effects than the user might expect.

Synthetic cannabinoid users report some effects similar to those produced by marijuana:

  • elevated mood
  • relaxation
  • altered perception—awareness of surrounding objects and conditions
  • symptoms of psychosis—delusional or disordered thinking detached from reality

Psychotic effects include:

  • extreme anxiety
  • confusion
  • paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
  • hallucinations—sensations and images that seem real though they are not

Common Symptoms

  • rapid heart rate
  • vomiting
  • violent behavior
  • suicidal thoughts
  • headaches
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • irritability
  • toxic reactions
  • elevated blood pressure
  • reduced blood supply to the heart
  • kidney damage
  • seizures

Common Street Names

  • Bliss
  • Black Mamba
  • Blaze
  • Bombay Blue
  • Fake Weed
  • Legal Weed
  • Genie
  • Red X
  • Dawn Scooby Skunk
  • Snax
  • K2-Spice
  • K3

What does it Look Like?

Synthetic marijuana is created to mimic the look, along with the side effects, of marijuana or THC. It most commonly resembles the look of dried ground herbs, though the smell of synthetic marijuana differs and will have a pungent, sometimes fish like, odor.

Legal Status

Because the chemicals used in them have no medical benefit and a high potential for abuse, authorities have made it illegal to sell, buy, or possess some of these chemicals. However, manufacturers try to sidestep these laws by changing the chemical formulas in their mixtures.

Testing Options

  • Integrated Urine Test Cup
  • Urine Test Dip Card

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