How harmful is K2/Spice (synthetic marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids)?

Synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., synthetic marihuana, K2, Spice, Spike)—or plants sprayed with unknown chemicals—are dangerous and unpredictable. Synthetic cannabinoids are not marihuana, but like THC, they bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other organs. Synthetic cannabinoids are also illegal in Michigan.

Research shows that synthetic cannabinoids affect the brain much more powerfully than marihuana creating unpredictable and, in some cases, life-threatening effects including nausea, anxiety, paranoia, brain swelling, seizures, hallucinations, aggression, heart palpitations, and chest pains. For additional questions around synthetic cannabinoids, visit CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health page on synthetic marihuana or the National Institute on Drug Abuse page on synthetic marihuana.