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Why is synthetic marijuana so controversial? Many individuals who want to pass drug tests or avoid a family history of drug and alcohol dependence may choose synthetic weed over the real deal. Synthetic cannabinoid products can mimic the effects of psychoactive substances like THC in cannabis, but there’s no doubt these cannabinoid “designer drugs” carry significant risks.

As a leading dispensary in Ontario, OR, Cannabis & Glass stocks only high-quality, natural marijuana products. View our cannabis menu online now! Below, we unpack what you should know about the dangers of synthetic weed.

Head to our shop to view the best authentic cannabis in Eastern Oregon.

What Is Synthetic Marijuana?

Synthetic Marijuana ground up

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, synthetic versions of marijuana consist of very little natural cannabis plant material. Instead, fake weed primarily consists of artificial chemicals that cause serious side effects due to the toxicity of the active ingredients.

Street names for fake cannabis include K2, moon rocks, spice, and black mamba. Though many believe it to be a safe alternative, synthetic weed is rightly labeled “not for human consumption.” It turns out the psychoactive effect synthetic weed produces is not worth the unpredictable side effects.

The Difference Between Synthetic and Natural Cannabis

Visually speaking, it’s tricky to distinguish synthetic products from authentic marijuana. Synthetic cannabinoids come in incense, sprays, and liquids for vaping. People also add fake liquid cannabinoids to foods and beverages.

Another assumption about fake weed is that it is a safe and legal alternative to cannabis in states where weed is illegal. However, most  synthetic cannabinoids are not legal, and worse, unregulated. You know what you are getting from a reputable dispensary, but that’s never true with fake weed.

The Side Effects of Synthetic Weed


One reason for the confusion surrounding synthetic cannabinoids is their potential psychoactive effect. Synthetic versions of marijuana may trigger the same brain receptors that natural weed stimulates to produce a euphoric high and a feeling of relaxation. Since the two effects are similar, people may assume fake weed and natural weed work the same way.

The synthetic variety doesn’t always have the same pleasurable effect because the cannabinoids bind to your brain’s receptors with greater strength. Many people also experience terrible side effects of synthetic cannabinoids (disease of the kidneys not withstanding), including the following:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Agitation
  • Impulsivity
  • Violent behavior
  • Severe anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal ideation

The effects of synthetic marijuana are not exclusive to the brain. The designer drug’s cannabinoids will often affect receptors throughout the body.

increased heart rate from synthetic marijuana

Dying after consuming synthetic cannabinoids is uncommon, but has happened on several occasions. Consuming synthetic cannabinoid products could more likely result in severe physical damage, such as:

  • Chest pain, heart attacks, and strokes
  • Gastrointestinal issues, including uncontrolled vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain
  • Severe kidney issues and possible kidney failure
  • Severe muscle breakdown or rhabdomyolysis (causing mild to painful muscle cramps)

The short-term effects are usually more severe than the less desirable effects of natural cannabis. Using synthetic cannabis too often may result in severe dependency as the person experiences increasingly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms as they try to quit.

Overcoming the Effects of Synthetic Cannabinoids

Natural marijuana does carry some addictive properties, but synthetic cannabis is far more addictive for several reasons. Its short-term euphoric effects can be intense, which is why people are more likely to become dependent on it. Withdrawal from fake marijuana is also extreme, so many people keep using it beyond the point they want to stop.

Quitting an addiction to fake weed brings everything from severe depression to violent mood swings. Severe withdrawal cases can also lead to:

  • Kidney failure
  • Paranoia
  • Violent outbursts and more

Unfortunately, the long-term damage from synthetic weed can be life-changing. People who use synthetic weed frequently find issues relating to their concentration ability and memory. They may also develop psychiatric conditions, like depression or schizophrenia, alongside other problems.

Sticking with natural, legal cannabis products will serve your needs better.

High-Quality Weed Products at Cannabis & Glass

At Cannabis & Glass, we promote the safe consumption of top-tier cannabis products. Our impressive cannabis dispensary in Ontario, OR, offers countless cannabis strains available in flower, concentrates, wax, edibles, and other forms. 

View our dior visit Cannabis & Glass to learn why real cannabis is far superior to any version of synthetic marijuana.