Synthetic marijuana is a designer drug that has been on the rise over the last few years. The substance is accordingly just sprayed with different psychoactive chemicals. It is usually smoked by consumers.

The synthetic marijuana being sold contains addictive and harmful chemicals. Whereas marijuana, when pure and regulated, is not addictive and has many medicinal benefits. Many feel synthetic marijuana helps fuel anti-marijuana campaigns, but it is not related to cannabis whatsoever (despite it’s name).

Synthetic marijuana has been fairly easy to get and the effects vary greatly. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the average “high” is elevated mood, relaxation, and distorted perception. However, some extreme cases cause anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations.

“People are smoking substances without knowing what’s in them,” said Dr. Christopher Rosenbaum, director of toxicology at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. “I would argue these products are more dangerous than marijuana they are intended to replace.”