Also known as ‘Spice’ synthetic cannabinoids are sold as 'herbal incense' but can be very risky and use has resulted in cardiac arrests and even death in some cases. Often sold over the internet and via ‘head-shops’ some of the products may contain controlled substances so you never really know what it is that you are taking.

The positive effects users report include euphoria, enhanced senses, increased sex drive, relaxation and increased confidence.

However the risks and negative effects of smoking synthetic cannabinoids are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Paranoia
  • Chest pain / palpitations / irregular heart beat
  • Memory loss
  • Insomnia
  • Depression / anxiety / suicidal thoughts
  • Confusion

Synthetic Cannabinoids harm-reduction advice

  • If you are going to use, be around people you trust and can help if you feel unwell
  • Avoid mixing with other drugs, especially stimulants which could put more strain on the heart and respiratory system
  • Be aware that the descriptions on packages may be totally different to the actual contents
  • Be very cautious about using in bongs or pipes; it is harder to regulate your intake and easy to take too much
  • Tell someone you are with what you are taking.