HEALTH
How Is Synthetic Weed Made, and What Does It Do to Your Body?
Synthetic cannabis like K2 and Spice may seem like convenient, legal alternatives to genuine weed... but they’re nothing like the Real McCoy.
Published on March 27, 2019

Synthetic cannabinoids like K2 and Spice get pegged as “synthetic cannabis” or “fake weed” although these human-made chemicals don’t come from the cannabis plant. In fact, chemically speaking, they bear little resemblance to naturally occurring cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

Research scientists often use synthetic weed to skirt government restrictions while studying the endocannabinoid system, the cellular network responsible for cannabis’s psychoactive effects and its other therapeutic effects. But, starting in the mid-2000s, synthetics became popular among partiers for the same reason: they’re legal in some places, including areas where weed is completely outlawed.

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Randy Robinson
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Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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