'Synthetic Pot' Sending Thousands of Young People to ER: Report

Users don't know what chemical mix they're getting or which complications can arise, experts warn

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"But with something sold as part of a 'spice package' you might think you're smoking herbs. And they're not herbs. You're not smoking tea or oregano. These are chemicals that are synthesized from scratch to act on the same receptors in the brain as real marijuana. But they are just pure chemicals, with no quality control and with the real potential to be toxic," he explained.

"So there was a time when selling them, and probably the use of them, was perceived as non-harmful," Bisaga noted. "But hopefully now, with the bans that have been put in place and the release of this kind of data, we are catching up to reality."

More information

For more on synthetic marijuana, visit the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

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