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K2/Spice (synthetic marijuana) information

K2 or “Spice” is an illicit drug that is comprised of a mixture of herbs and spices, typically sprayed with a synthetic compound that is chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The most common chemical compounds of K2 include HU-210, HU-211, JWH-018, and JWH-073. K2 is often marketed in head shops, tobacco shops, or over the Internet as incense or “fake weed.” Unknown product origin and amount of chemical compound on the organic material are just two of the many risks associated with K2/Spice.

Street names

Bliss, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Cloud Nine, Fake Weed, Genie, Spice, Zohai

Looks like

K2 / Spice is typically sold in small, silvery plastic bags of dried leaves and marketed as incense that can be smoked. It is said to resemble potpourri.

Methods of abuse

K2 / Spice products are usually smoked in joints or pipes, but some users make it into a tea.

Affect on mind

Psychological effects are similar to those of marijuana and include paranoia, panic attacks, and giddiness.

Affect on body

Physiological effects of K2 / Spice include increased heart rate and increase of blood pressure. It appears to be stored in the body for long periods of time, and therefore the long-term effects on humans are not fully known.

Drugs causing similar effects

Marijuana

Overdose effects

There have been no reported deaths by overdose.

Legal status in the United States

On Tuesday, March 1, 2011, DEA published a final order in the Federal Register temporarily placing five synthetic cannabinoids into Schedule I of the CSA. The order became effective on March 1, 2011. The substances placed into Schedule I are 1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl) indole (JWH-018), 1-butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl) indole (JWH-073), 1-[2-(4-morpholinyl) ethyl]-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-200), 5-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol (CP-47,497), and 5-(1,1-dimethyloctyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol (cannabicyclohexanol; CP-47,497 C8 homologue). This action is based on a finding by the Administrator that the placement of these synthetic cannabinoids into Schedule I of the CSA is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. As a result of this order, the full effect of the CSA and its implementing regulations including criminal, civil and administrative penalties, sanctions, and regulatory controls of Schedule I substances will be imposed on the manufacture, distribution, possession, importation, and exportation of these synthetic cannabinoids.

Common places of origin

Manufacturers of this product are not regulated and are often unknown since these products are purchased via the Internet whether wholesale or retail. Several websites that sell the product are based in China. Some products may contain an herb called damiana, which is native to Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Source: dea.gov – “Drug Fact Sheet: K2 or Spice”

Drug Abuse Recognition (DAR)

As a point of reference, the following objective symptoms: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Vertical Gaze Nystagmus, Lack of Convergence, Pulse, Romberg Stand, Pupil Size, and Pupillary Reaction To Light are determined during a DAR evaluation to identify drug influence and impairment. The following objective symptoms of someone under the influence of K2/Spice may be used as a reference only, and should not be used to replace certified Drug Abuse Recognition Training.

Please contact Express Diagnostics if you would like more information on DAR-OS or drug abuse recognition training.

Cannabis: Marijuana/cannabis, K2/Spice

Horizontal Gaze NystagmusNot Present
Vertical Gaze NystagmusNot Present
Lack of ConvergencePresent
PulseUp
Romberg StandFast to Normal
Pupil SizeDilation to Normal
Pupillary Reaction To LightNormal
Source: Graves & Associates