The international journal of neuropsychopharmacology / official scientific journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP)
Smokeable herbal mixtures containing synthetic agonists of cannabinoid receptors, known under brand names such as Spice, K2 and Kronic, represent a relatively new type of designer psychoactive drugs that has recently emerged on the recreational drug market. Although the Spice packages are labelled 'not for human consumption' or 'for aromatherapy only' and declared to be purely herbal, these herbal mixtures produce cannabis-like effects after smoking.
The increasing prevalence and use of herbal mixtures containing synthetic cannabinoids presents a growing public health concern and legal challenge for society. In contrast to the plant-derived cannabinoids in medical marijuana and other cannabinoid-based therapeutics, the commonly encountered synthetic cannabinoids in these mendaciously labeled products constitute a structurally diverse set of compounds of relatively unknown pharmacology and toxicology. Indeed, the use of these substances has been associated with an alarming number of hospitalizations and emergency room visits.