Synthetic cannabinoids: what they are and why you should pay attention to them

Synthetic cannabinoids: what they are

Modified on: 10/06/2024


Synthetic cannabinoids can be very dangerous for the human body and in the next few lines we will explain what they are and what effects they cause. Contrary to those contained in legal weed, or in other derivative products, such as CBD oil (therefore natural), artificial cannabinoids are molecules created in the laboratory with the aim of imitating the psychotropic action that THC has on the receptors of the brain human.

Before delving into the specifics of synthetic cannabinoids, however, let’s open a brief parenthesis on the general concept of cannabinoid. These are essentially molecules produced by the hemp plant (over a hundred known) useful for its defense against parasites, diseases and solar rays.

The best-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD, hemp molecules which, when taken by humans, interact with our endocannabinoid system, in particular with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, causing specific effects. For example, THC is psychoactive and causes a distortion of the senses, while CBD has no doping effect and gives rise to analgesic and anxiolytic sensations.

But what happens if synthetic cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system? Let’s go see it together.

This is what synthetic cannabinoids are

Contrary to the phytocannabinoids of CBD cannabis, artificial cannabinoids are molecules created in the laboratory with the sole purpose of causing a strong distortion in the individual who takes them. They are usually produced illegally in some Asian regions and then sprayed into herbal blends and sold as synthetic marijuana in other states.

This type of product is usually marketed in brightly colored aluminum or plastic sachets with words such as “herbal incense” or “herbal smoking blends” on the packaging. Obviously, no information appears regarding the chemical content of synthetic cannabinoids, which can only be found thanks to a laboratory analysis.

These are synthetic cannabinoids

Furthermore, the herbal blend behind it allows manufacturers to categorize this synthetic cannabis as a “natural product,” which should make you understand the gravity of the issue. The most common names with which you may encounter synthetic cannabis packages are the following:


Let’s now see what effects synthetic cannabinoids cause on the human organism.

Read also: Is cannabis currently available in European pharmacies?

Cannabinoids: effects of synthetic cannabinoids of artificial marijuana on humans

As you probably already know, legal marijuana has a THC level of less than 1% and for this reason, if it were taken, it would not cause any distorting or dangerous effects on humans. On the contrary, classic marijuana, thanks to the high level of THC, has a psychotropic effect on the body which lasts for several hours until it is eliminated.

However, as regards the synthetic cannabinoids contained in artificial cannabis, the situation is very different: in fact, chemical additives (such as rat poison) have been found within these products, inserted with the intention of prolonging the distorting effect of the substance. Among the most common symptoms caused by taking synthetic marijuana we find the following:

Intense anxiety
Nausea and vomit
Prolonged confusion
Muscle pain
Kidney damage

Well yes, the intake of synthetic cannabinoids can even cause death due to overdose, which would be impossible if you took classic hemp or light hemp. As for the other symptoms, it is also unclear whether some damage is temporary or permanent.

Read also: Gorilla Glue: the origins

Why can synthetic cannabis be sold?

Why can synthetic cannabis be sold?

After reading what the consequences are of taking the synthetic cannabinoids present in artificial marijuana, you will wonder how it is possible that this product can circulate on the market. The reason is that this type of substance is proposed as a product that cannot be consumed by humans and, moreover, it contains a basic vegetal material different from hemp, which is why it is not categorized in the same way.

No regulation exists in this regard and therefore not even an adequate chemical analysis of the product, which thus bypasses the drug laws. For this reason, it is impossible to know the quality and quantity of the substances contained in synthetic marijuana, just as it is impossible to predict the effects that each individual mixture may cause in those who take it.

In the United States between 2014 and 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Disease Prevention (CDC) counted an exponential increase in deaths caused by the intake of synthetic cannabinoids, seeing the figure triple compared to the previous year. By virtue of these events, synthetic cannabinoids have been included in the so-called “Schedule I controlled substance“, a document which includes doping substances with a high potential for abuse, such as cocaine and heroin.

Final thoughts on synthetic cannabinoids

As you have read in our article, taking synthetic cannabinoids can be very dangerous for your body and could cause serious health problems or even death. For this reason we strongly advise you against staying away from this type of product and informing your friends of the existence of this danger.

If you are a marijuana lover and want to buy legal and harmless products, you should definitely prefer items such as pre rolled joints or CBD oil.

Be wary of products that are harmful to your health and buy CBD online safely on