Podcast #170: Spice

synthetic-marijuana-plagues-southwest-floridaRun Time:  2 minutes

Author: John Winkler M.D.

Educational Pearls:

  • There are multiple synthetic marijuana alternatives that causes more amphetamine reaction. Known as Spice, K2, and many other names, they are made by changing the side branches of THC.
  • An overdose can cause a spectrum of reactions from general agitation to severe excited delirium to death.
  • Patients present physiologically with tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, elevated temperature, psychosis, and severe agitation.
  • It is important to make sure that the patient is kept calm and safe with multiple doses of sedating medication, end tidal CO2, and airway protection.
  • In New York City on 7/13/16 33 people had a suspected overdose on synthetic marijuana.
  • To make a synthetic marijuana illegal the exact chemical structure needs to be presented to the legislature, and can sometimes take up to 1 year. However, the frequency of changes in the chemical structure of synthetic marijuana hard to keep illegal.

Link to Podcast: http://medicalminute.madewithopinion.com/spice/

References: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cannabinoids

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/13/nyregion/k2-synthetic-marijuana-overdose-in-brooklyn.html?_r=0

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