Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made chemicals similar to the chemicals present in the marijuana plant which is the reason why they are called cannabinoids. They are also capable of mind-altering effects and a sometimes referred to as herbal or liquid incense (1).
Synthetic Cannabinoids and Marijuana
In recent years, synthetic Cannabinoids have entered the market as a legal alternative to medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is a derivative of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient of marijuana. As a derivative, it has many of the same health benefits as the original; including relieving the symptoms of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, treating muscle spasms, easing physical discomfort, and improving mood. However, synthetic Cannabinoids do not have all the same benefits as Medical Marijuana. As an alternative, they may be used to treat chronic muscle spasms associated with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, etc (2).
Although they do not produce the same amount of euphoria as medical marijuana, synthetically produced Cannabinoids do share some common side effects that may be considered acceptable if they improve one’s symptoms. In fact, some doctors even consider Cannabinoids to be less harmful than smoked marijuana. It is also said that people who suffer from chronic diseases like Cancer may use synthetically made Cannabinoids to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy (3). However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put some restrictions on the sale and distribution of such Cannabinoids.
Physical Similarities Between Synthetic Cannabinoids and Natural Cannabinoids
Synthetic Cannabinoids are similar in appearance and chemical composition to natural cannabidiol, which is the main ingredient of Medical Marijuana. However, unlike Medical Marijuana, Synthetic Cannabinoids are not made from the cannabis plant. Instead, they are manufactured using a procedure called trans-cannularization. In other words, instead of heating the raw plant material to remove any volatile oils that may be present, the trans-cannularization process causes the oils to be contained within the inner surface of the generalized solution, thus eliminating most of the medicinal benefits. Therefore, although synthetic Cannabinoids may be used to treat certain medical ailments, they cannot be considered as an alternative to Medical Marijuana.
In recent years, there has been an increase in synthetic cannabinoids that have hit the market. The most common synthetic Cannabinoids available in the United States at this time are Amyl Nitric Oxide (ALOT), Anafranil, Phenaghrel, Envite, Finasteride, and Spice. Although there are many other synthetic cannabinoids currently being researched, it is believed that future generations will produce less harmful synthetic cannabinoids. Currently, there are no known side effects of synthetic cannabinoids.
Some Benefits of Synthetic Cannabinoids
Although some users may be concerned about the long-term health effects of using synthetic cannabinoids (4), there are several benefits to trying this method of treatment. One benefit is that synthetic cannabinoids are considered less addictive than Medical Marijuana. Therefore, they can be used by those who are currently undergoing medical treatments for their conditions, but are not ready for full blown marijuana use. Another advantage to using synthetic cannabinoids is that it is a less serious condition compared to other methods of medical marijuana use. This means that it is not often necessary to use medical marijuana (5).
Another benefit is that there are fewer side effects when using Medical Marijuana compared to the synthetic cannabinoids. For example, medical marijuana users do not experience the following common side effects: difficulty in breathing, nausea, restlessness, dizziness, sleep disturbance, or seizures. On the other hand, when synthetic Cannabinoids are used, these symptoms occur more frequently. Synthetic Cannabinoids also cause less serious side effects than Medical marijuana does. Therefore, many people consider the two forms of medical marijuana use to be equal. However, there are many differences between the two that will help you decide if they are right for you.
While many believe that medical marijuana is the only option for treating certain ailments, many people view the use of synthetic cannabinoids as an acceptable way to relieve symptoms of certain diseases. However, synthetic Cannabinoids come with many different benefits that may make them more attractive for use compared to medical marijuana. Many synthetic forms of Cannabinoids have also been proven effective in helping to treat certain illnesses and conditions such as seizures, chronic pain, and nausea. In addition, synthetic forms of Cannabinoids are available over the counter without a prescription, making them even more accessible to the public.
Although Cannabinoid has many positive benefits, some side effects do exist. For example, users who are pregnant or suffer from seizures should consult their physician before using Medical marijuana. Some side effects of synthetic Cannabinoids include confusion, impaired thinking, slowed reflexes, dizziness, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, it is suggested that you speak with your doctor right away. While synthetic Cannabinoid does not have as many side effects, they can still be dangerous.