Skip to content

Synthetic Marijuana

( K2 / K3 )

Cut-Off Levels (ng/mL)
Window of Detection
25, 50 ng/mL (Urine) 2 hr. - 3 Days (Urine)
5, 10, 25 ng/mL (Saliva) Up to 12 Hrs (Saliva)

What is Synthetic Marijuana? 

Synthetic cannabinoids are not organic, but are chemical compounds created in a laboratory. Since 2009, law enforcement has encountered numerous different synthetic cannabinoids that are being sold as “legal” alternatives
to marijuana. These products are being abused for their psychoactive properties and are packaged without information as to their health and safety risks. Synthetic cannabinoids are sold as “herbal incense” and “potpourri” under names like K2 and Spice, as well as many other names, at small convenience stores, head shops, gas stations, and via the Internet from both domestic and international sources. These products are labeled “not for human consumption” in an attempt to shield the manufacturers, distributors, and retail sellers from criminal prosecution. This type of marketing is nothing more than a means to make dangerous, psychoactive substances widely available to the public. 

Common Nicknames

RedX Dawn
Black Magic
Mr. Nice Guy
Skunk, Serenity
Crazy Clown

How is it Used?

Spraying or mixing the synthetic cannabinoids on plant material provides a vehicle for the most common route of administration - smoking (using a pipe, a water pipe, or rolling the drug-laced plant material in cigarette papers). In addition to the cannabinoids laced on plant material and sold as potpourri and incense, liquid cannabinoids have been designed to be vaporized through both disposable and reusable electronic cigarettes. 

What Does it Look Like?

These chemical compounds are generally found in bulk powder form, and then dissolved in solvents, such as acetone, before being applied to dry plant material to make the “herbal incense” products. After local distributors apply the drug to the dry plant material, they package it for retail distribution, again without pharmaceutical-grade chemical purity standards, as these have no accepted medical use, and ignoring any control mechanisms to prevent contamination or to ensure a consistent, uniform concentration of the powerful and dangerous drug in each package.

Common Symptoms

rapid heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, headaches, anxiety, depression, irritability, toxic reactions, elevated blood pressure, reduced blood supply to the heart, kidney damage, seizures

What Are the Effects?

Rohypnol also can produce physical dependence when taken regularly over a period of time. High doses of Rohypnol, particularly when combined with CNS depressant drugs such as alcohol and heroin, can cause severe
sedation, unconsciousness, slow heart rate, and suppression of respiration that may be sufficient to result in death.

Legal Status

These substances have no accepted medical use in the United States and have been reported to produce adverse health effects. Currently, 26 substances are specifically listed as Schedule I
substances under the Controlled Substances Act either through legislation or regulatory action. In addition there are many other synthetic cannabinoids that meet the definition for “cannabimimetic agent” under the Controlled Substances Act and thus are Schedule I substances.