Synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs) are a type of psychotropic chemical increasingly marketed as a safe and legal alternative to marijuana.
Unfortunately, misleadingly marketed as a legal and safe alternative to marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids have a variety of adverse health effects.
An article in Medical News Today noted that a new review summarizes the clinical cases that have so far been linked to the use of the synthetic substances.
The review, from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) warns against the dangerous side effects of the compounds popularly (and misleadingly) referred to as "synthetic marijuana."
Referring to the SCBs currently sold as "K2" and "Spice," Paul L. Prather, a cellular and molecular pharmacologist at UAMS and corresponding author of the review, explains the motivation behind it:
The report, therefore, set out to give an overview of the existing literature on SCBs, and to show that not only are they different from marijuana, but also that they do not constitute an appropriate substitute for cannabis. On the contrary, SCBs are drugs in their own right, with many toxic - and sometimes even fatal - effects.
The review has been published in the journal Trends in Pharmacological Sciences.