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Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic Cannabinoids

What are they?

Synthetic cannabinoids (or artificial marijuana) contain analogs that act in a similar way to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis. These products are made by spraying a solution of the THC analog over a mixture of herbal leaves. The actual ingredients are rarely listed on the packaging and the amount of these analogs that the product contains can vary from packet to packet and brand to brand.

Side effects:

Someone using synthetic marijuana may experience the following symptoms:

fast heart rate
high blood pressure
chest pain
shortness of breath
profuse sweating
tremor
seizures
psychiatric disturbances (including anxiety, agitation, paranoia, paranoid delusions and psychosis)

If any of these symptoms are experienced, the person should be seen by a doctor without delay.

These symptoms can occur at any time regardless if you are a first time user or have used these products before.

First Aid - What Should I Do?

If the person is unconscious, or has collapsed:
Check their pulse, ensure they are breathing, and
Place them in the recovery position Lie them on their side, Ensure their head is lower than their body
Call an ambulance


If the person is awake:
Keep them calm
Do NOT make them vomit
Do NOT give them anything to drink
Contact your local Poisons Center or Doctor




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University of Otago NZ National Poisons Centre


Last updated 10/10/2012



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