Synthetic marijuana is interesting because of who would choose to use it. Yes, marijuana is illegal, especially on the recreational front, but weed dealers abound, and it’s easily the most common drug you’ll find just about everywhere. College dorm room, city street corner, random dude’s apartment, NYC mother’s medicine cabinet, the list could go on and on because there is such a ubiquitous nature to the drug, so what’s with this synthetic stuff?
What’s the allure? I get the allure of other drugs, but why would you want a synthetic compound nature grows so fabulously on it’s own? Why am I posing this question to imaginary readers, and why am I now posing a question to myself about asking imaginary readers (aside from the usual drivel about egomaniacal behavior); it’s because the inventor of synthetic marijuana DOES NOT WANT YOU TO SMOKE IT. READ ON to find out why (if my lede and your common sense didn’t answer the question for you already).
He’s now Professor Emeritus at South Carolina, but John Huffman is the inventor of the fake cannabis you see on the market today. As an organic chemist at Auburn University, Professor Huffman invented the appetite stimulant known as JWH 018–which mimics the effects of THC. The JWH -018 compound he invented was used to make the cannabinoids like Kronic you could enjoy as synthetic marijuana (until the DEA banned it).
The use of his work did not surprise him at all, “He said he was ‘not the least bit surprised’ that the compound had been adapted to make cannabinoids, such as Kronic, which was widely available throughout New Zealand and Australia.” That doesn’t mean he’s not concerned with its use, and he did not equivocate when asked whether people should indulge in the cannabinoid knock-offs that have sprung up in the wake of his discovery:
“It can lead to serious psychological problems… It’s not known if they are irreversible.”
Imitation-cannabis products, largely manufactured in China, were marketed in the US as Spice or K2, and producers “wouldn’t listen as long as they are making money”, he said.
However, Professor Huffman stopped short of recommending NZ ban or even reclassify the product.
“It’s probably useless. Marijuana has been illegal in the United States since 1937.”
Well, it’s illegal unless the new bill gets passed, but Professor Hoffman isn’t the only one who warns against the synthetic alternatives.
One person supporting a ban is Dr Leo Schep, a toxicologist with the Dunedin-based National Poisons Centre, who said people should take heed of Professor Huffman’s warnings over the effects of synthetic cannabis.
“He would know this product better than anyone else in the world.
“If he said don’t use it, I would respect that opinion.”
There is a lot of tasty nugget out there which isn’t a cheap knock-off that may or may not be legal or good for you. Marijuana is from the earth, and the only side-effects after centuries of testing is munchies and giggling (there are others–but this is a pro marijuana blog and I don’t have the time to get into them). Stick with real herb, and leave the synthetic crap to idiots that are too scared or stupid to find the real thing. It’s just not worth it.