Synthetic Cannabinoid

Last updated: May 29, 2020

What Does Synthetic Cannabinoid Mean?

Synthetic cannabinoid is a manufactured chemical substance that causes mind-altering effects similar to cannabis when ingested or inhaled. The substance is usually found in liquid form and is either inhaled as a vapor or liquid incense. Sometimes the liquid is sprayed onto dried plant material, such as tobacco, and then smoked. While referred to as “cannabinoid” or synthetic marijuana, the product is not derived from the marijuana plant. Instead, the substance is referred to as a cannabinoid because its chemical composition resembles some of the chemicals present in the marijuana plant. Synthetic cannabinoid is sometimes called synthetic marijuana or fake marijuana. Street names for this substance include Spice, K-2, Genie, and Yucatan Fire.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Synthetic Cannabinoid

Synthetic cannabinoids are one of several man-made substances classified as “new psychoactive substances” (NPS). Many of these substances are not yet regulated. Some of the substances are new chemical recipes that replace earlier NPS that have been banned. These chemical compounds often pose a high risk for abuse and serve no medical purpose. Unregulated, and untested for safety and purity, synthetic cannabinoid and other NPS pose a significant health hazard to users.

A synthetic cannabinoid’s chemical structure is similar to THC, the active chemical found in marijuana. The chemicals in synthetic cannabinoid bind to the same receptors in the brain and other organs of the body. However, the effects and binding ability of synthetic cannabinoid are more powerful and dangerous. Drug users sometimes use synthetic cannabinoids as a drug of abuse in hopes of avoiding detection when subjected to standard drug screening tests.



Spice, K-2, Genie, Yucatan Fire, Synthetic Marijuana, Fake Marijuana

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