Why Synthetic Cannabinoids are Dangerous


The use of synthetic cannabinoids is both a growing and worrying trend. These are man-made drugs that aim to mimic the more psychoactive effects of marijuana and THC, but it is important to understand that they are in no way actual cannabinoids, and do not resemble the real thing. Reports have shown they are incredibly dangerous, with deaths, organ damage, and seizures directly linked to their use. To help everyone stay informed, we thought we would have a comprehensive look at exactly what these nasty little drugs are.



Also known as <i>synthetic cannabinoid receptor agnostics</i>, these lab-produced drugs are engineered variations of industrial chemicals. They have been designed to work upon and active the same receptors real cannabinoids do, but they do it in a way that is both overwhelming and dangerous to the body. Their actual purpose is to allow scientists to observe how specific receptor activation can be manipulated, and how they affect cells in the body. However, experimentation is usually carried out on cell samples, and never on actual people.

Some of the more unscrupulous chemists of the world have seen a gap in the market, and now produce these chemicals to sell both on the legal and black market – trying to corner the legal high and herbal high niches. Where legal, these drugs are quickly outlawed. However, all it takes is a slight tweak to the chemical by the producer to technically make it a completely new substance, often allowing it to become legal again through a loophole in the law.


Not only are synthetic cannabinoids chemically different to real cannabinoids, but they also act upon the endocannabinoid system in a completely different way. Real cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, are known as partial agnostic, meaning they bind to the receptors in our body, but only at partial efficiency. Synthetic cannabinoids have been designed to act as full-agnostics; this means they bind with full force. When you consider that synthetic cannabinoids are also made to be up to 100 times stronger than regular cannabinoids, you can see why it is a worrying situation.

To top things off, the body doesn’t know how to break down synthetic cannabinoids efficiently. Normal cannabinoids are processed and deactivated within a few hours, synthetic cannabinoids are not, leaving them unchecked in the body.

These chemicals are then sprayed onto random, cannabis-esque plant matter, to make it look natural. It is also worth noting, that unlike cannabis, synthetic cannabinoids are highly addictive.

For those with no sense, and who think super potency equals a better experience, this may sound great. It is not. When it comes to drug toxicity, it all comes down to dose. Everything, including water, becomes toxic with the right dose. Cannabis and natural cannabinoids have an insanely high lethal dosage – requiring someone to consume roughly half a tonne of cannabis in 15 minutes for it to actually cause death. The same is cannot be said for synthetic cannabinoids, which have a very low lethal dosage. In addition to this, the full extent of the damage they cause to the body is not fully understood. What is known is that they can cause kidney failure and brain damage.


When it comes to using cannabinoids, there are many seeking them out for their therapeutic benefits. However, for those who don’t want to break the law, “legal” synthetic cannabinoids are often the option of choice. Unfortunately, they do not offer any therapeutic benefit, and if anything, will cause harm. CBD oil is a much better option, and it is legal.

It is a travesty that many of these chemicals can be bought legally, making many people – especially the young – assume that they must be safe. They are not in any way. If you were ever considering using synthetic cannabinoids, abandon those thoughts. It is a terrible road to go down.