The rise of “legal highs,” sold under names like Spice, K2 or the much-vilified “bath salts,” has got legislators desperately trying to ban them. Meanwhile, illegal chemists are rapidly developing substitutes that aren’t covered under these bans — a race that’s driven in part by the illegality of marijuana.
Looking at these drugs’ chemical makeup, it’s plausible that because their active ingredients — the THC-like drugs that can trigger psychosis — aren’t balanced with CBD, which induces natural marijuana’s mellowing effect, they may be more likely to cause psychotic reactions. Fake pot also tends to be more potent than the real stuff, which could increase risks to users. But although they’ve been fingered for causing violence, no one knows what the short- or long-term effects of these substances really are because they haven’t been tested on humans.
Meanwhile, humanity has had thousands of years of experience with marijuana itself, which, while not harmless, certainly doesn’t carry the risks of taking a drug fresh from the lab.
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