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Key Information



Annihilation (Synthetic Cannabinoids)

What are Synthetic Cannabinoids?

Synthetic Cannabinoids are chemicals that mimic the effects of the main active compound in  Cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These Synthetic Cannabinoids are usually sold in ''herbal'' smoking mixtures, normally sprayed on to the plant material. To date, the plant material has just been used to carry the synthetic drugs and does not normally contain any Tobacco or Cannabis plant. Sometimes smoking mixtures have been found not to contain any Synthetic Cannabinoids. You can never be sure what you are smoking.  These smoking mixtures are often known by their brand names such as Annihilation, Black Mamba and Spice to name a few.  A large number of Synthetic Cannabinoids have become Class B drugs, illegal to have, give away or sell. As more Synthetic Cannabinoids become illegal, it is likely that more compounds will be synthesised to try to get round the law. But, you can never be sure want is in a smoking mixture and whether it is illegal or not.  Synthetic Cannabinoids mimic the effects of THC and so the effects - good and bad - are likely to be very similar to Cannabis. Some users will feel happy and relaxed, may get the giggles, feel hunger pangs and become very talkative. Others may feel ill or paranoid.


Spice, Ecsess, Amsterdam Gold, Black Mamba, Devil''s Weed, X, Mary Joy, Annihilation, Tai High Hawaiian Haze, Bombay Blue Extreme


Chemical name differs for each Synthetic Cannabinoid


Synthetic Cannabinoids mimic the effects of THC, the active ingredient in Cannabis. They may be stronger than typical Cannabis and because these substances are so new, they may have completely unknown effects. Typical Cannabis effects include: feeling happy and relaxed, users may get the giggles, feel hunger pangs and become very talkative. Others get more drowsy, mood and perception can change and concentration and co-ordination may become difficult. Some will have quite bad reactions. Paranoia, panic attacks and forgetfulness are all associated with using Synthetic Cannabinoids.


Cannabinoids are a class of chemicals, some of which are found naturally in the Cannabis Plant. Synthetic Cannabinoids and Cannabinoid receptor agonists gained popularity in the late 2000s when they began being sold in herbal smoking blends as Cannabis replacements.  Synthetic Cannaboids come in different forms, such as Herbal Mixtures, which can be smoked and in the form of Incense.

HEALTH RISKS (long term) which includes withdrawal & tolerance:

Because Synthetic Cannabinoids mimic the effects of THC, the active ingredient in Cannabis, it is very likely that they will produce harmful effects similar to those associated with THC. But, many Synthetic Cannabinoids are new and may have other completely unknown effects too. There may also be risks from smoking the plant material itself – as occurs with Tobacco and Cannabis smoking.  Regular use of products containing Synthetic Cannabinoids may increase the risk of later developing psychotic illnesses including Schizophrenia.  Experts are concerned that Synthetic Cannabinoids have the potential to be more harmful than Cannabis because of the high strength of these compounds compared to Cannabis and because of the range of different chemicals being produced.  The effects of some of the Synthetic Cannabinoids may be longer lasting than Cannabis and because of the lack of information about what is in the smoking mixtures it may be difficult to predict the strength of different products.  From anecdotal and official reports, the most common risks from using Synthetic Cannabinoids are an increase in heart rate, feeling on edge or restless, feeling tried or drowsy, feeling sick, being sick and hallucinations (seeing and/or hearing things that aren’t there).  Synthetic Cannabinoids are addictive, can cause withdrawal and are a gateway drug (that is they can lead to the abuse of harder drugs). They are a drug and have all the attributes of one. Addiction is as real a possibility with Synthetic Marijuana as it is with the real stuff, it is just a lot easier to buy and use due to its legal status.


 A large number of Synthetic Cannabinoids and any mixtures that contain these Synthetic Cannabinoids are Class B drugs and are illegal to have, give away or sell. Some products have been found to contain Synthetic Cannabinoids that are currently legal to possess, but as you can’t be sure what’s in any smoking mixture, when you purchase one you always run the risk that you may be in possession of a Class B drug.  Possession of products containing controlled Synthetic Cannbinoids can get you up to five years in jail and/or an unlimited fine. Supplying someone else, including your friends, can get you fourteen years in jail and/or an unlimited fine

  1. Modern retail Synthetic Cannabinoids originated in Europe sometime around 2004.
  2. Synthetic Cannabinoids were originally being used in research settings. They were synthesized by researchers in different settings - such as compounds developed in the mid eighties by John Huffman. These "Huffman compounds" were named with the prefix JWH- and it was a couple of these, including JWH-018 which cropped up in the Spice and K2 smoking mixtures.  Since then many more Synthetic Cannabinoids have reached the market.
  3. They were initially a product of the now defunct UK company Psyche Deli, a company that dabbled in the legal sale of Psilocybe Cubensis Mushrooms for recreational use in the years prior.
  4. A large amount of Tocopherol (a Vitamin E analogue) has been detected in packages of Cannabinoid blends.
  5. Synthetic Cannabinoids aim to take a natural plant product and produce a derivative of one of the constituent ingredients, in order to commercialize (and, at times, legalize) a substance that yields a similar effect
  6. Products containing Synthetic Caannaboids often claim that they contain “natural” psycho active material taken from a variety of plants. These products do contain dried plant material, but chemical analyses show that their active ingredients are synthetic (or designer Cannabinoid compounds.
  7. Products containing Synthetic Cannaboids are popular among young people, they are second only to marijuana. Easy access and the misperception that these products are “natural” and therefore harmless have likely contributed to their popularity. Another selling point is that the chemicals used are not easily detected in standard drug tests.
  8. Products containing Synthetic Cannaboids are sold as “Incense,” but they more closely resemble Pot-Pourri, or “Herbal Mixtures”. Like Marijuana, these products are abused mainly by smoking. Sometimes they are mixed with Marijuana or is prepared as an herbal infusion for drinking.
  9. The effects of Synthetic Cannabinoids seem to be very variable, and will depend on the user, their state of mind, the type of product used, dose and other substances involved.
  10. More than one type of Synthetic Cannaboid has been identified, but they all mimic the psychoactive effects of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the active principal in Cannabis.  Most compounds come from the JWMH chemical family, such as JWH-018.
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