Some synthetic weed is being manufactured here in the United States, potentially
netting millions of dollars for these “entrepreneurs.”

Earlier this month authorities in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana arrested seven who were
allegedly part of a large synthetic weed manufacturing ring. Truckloads of
materials used to create the fake pot were confiscated. Included were 1,000
pounds of marshmallow leaves (a slimy medicinal plant that grows naturally in
the Mid-Atlantic), bottles of Everclear (brand name for a colorless alcohol)
and acetone (a solvent). They also found a white powdery substance that is
currently being tested at the crime lab.

Authorities believed this ring had been distributing the synthetic weed in nine different
states.

The substance, according to authorities, is created using plant matter. It is
sprayed with a chemical that causes the drug high. It is also sprayed with
acetone or Everclear in order to dissolve that substance. It is mixed (often in
a cement mixer) and then allowed to dry in a ventilator before packaging and
labeling.

Officials in this Louisiana parish were pleased to make a dent in this illegal market,
but they realize it was but a dent. They admitted that right behind the arrest
were other potential manufacturers of the fake week, ready to fill the shoes of
those arrested.

The potent chemicals that manufacturers are using to produce the high are purchased
from companies in Europe, China and possibly the Cayman Islands. These foreign
companies also produce the fake weed themselves. This is according to the DEA.
(Drug Enforcement Agency)

Two of the more common varieties of fake weed are known as K-2 and Spice.

John W. Huffman is a chemist, and is the man responsible for creating the formula
for the active substance in fake weed. The chemical, JWH-018 was created and
named by him. Mr. Huffman was studying the effect this synthetic chemical had
on the brain.

And the first batch was made by an undergraduate student.

Huffman said it was “It is really easy to make.”

JWH-018 is not licensed for medical use anywhere in the world.

In fact, very little is even known about the effect of this substance on humans.
There have been no trials to discover its toxicity.

Paul Doering is a service professor of pharmacy emeritus from the University of
Florida College of Pharmacy. His chilling prediction is that a smart college
student with financial backing can create a new and legal batch of the active
ingredient in synthetic weed within three weeks.

The effects of the synthetic marijuana are profound and troubling. Parents report
their once happy children becoming withdrawn, with dramatic mood swings. Some
children have become thieves, stealing money from their parents to feed their
addiction.

The drugs are primarily marketed to young people, and are falsely advertised as a
safe and legal alternative to marijuana.

Some are packaged with cartoon characters like Sponge Bob Square Pants and Scooby
Doo and may be labeled as potpourri or incense. They are sold online, in
convenience shops, gas stations, tobacco stores and other outlets.

The side effects vary, depending on the mixture of chemicals used to create the
synthetic marijuana.

Some of them are:

  • Catatonia (an abnormal condition seen as stupor or mania, and either extreme rigidity or flexibility of the limbs. Often seen in schizophrenia.)
  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Extreme sweating
  • Psychosis
  • Heart problems

Children who have become addicted to the fake weed may end up in psychiatric wards, put
on anti-psychotic drugs and ruined for life.

For psychiatrists to treat this drug induced psychosis as something to cure with
additional mind-altering pharmaceuticals is madness. Children who have become
the victim of synthetic weed addiction can be helped, and parents can find
alternatives to psychiatric treatment by doing their own research.

Resources:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2147267_grow-marsh-mallow-plant.html

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-06-03/synthetic-marijuana-ban-efforts/55361624/1

http://www.wwltv.com/news/Authorities-making-new-strides-in-war-on-synthetic-marijuana-159143985.html

http://hightimes.com/news/dan/5014

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/catatonia

http://www.mnn.com/family/protection-safety/stories/synthetic-marijuana-can-cause-unusual-side-effects-in-teens

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120414/ARTICLES/120419754?p=1&tc=pg