New York State Health Department officials are warning New Yorkers about synthetic marijuana.

To be honest, I'm not sure why anyone buys synthetic marijuana since weed is legal in New York. But, officials have issued a warning.

What Is Synthetic Cannabis?

When I hear 'synthetic marijuana' I automatically think of catnip or oregano. Synthetic cannabinoids are not natural. They are created in a laboratory using chemical mixtures to mimic THC. THC is short for Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive part of cannabis.

Samples of synthetic cannabinoids, often called K2, Spice, and other names, that were sold in the Mohawk Valley were found to contain opioids. The synthetic marijuana was purchased from a local convenience store.

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Lab toxicology confirmed that two samples of synthetic cannabinoids were contaminated with five Novel Psychoactive Substances, including two potent novel synthetic opioids. Opioids can increase the risk of overdose and death.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said,

Synthetic cannabinoids should never be confused for legally sold cannabis. These synthetic cannabinoids often contain harmful substances, that have a range of effects from euphoria to causing extreme anxiety, disorientation, hallucinations, and psychosis. However, it is rare to find opioids in the product and this new addition can cause overdose or even death. If you witness someone experiencing an overdose, treat it as an opioid overdose and administer naloxone as soon as possible.


What Are The Dangers Of Opioid Use

According to the National Library of Medicine, the dangers of opioid use are:

- Sedation
- Dizziness
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Constipation
- Physical dependence
- Respiratory depression

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