What’s The Difference Between K2 And Marijuana? 33 People Reportedly Overdosed On The Drug In Brooklyn

This week, 33 people were admitted to a Brooklyn hospital for suspected overdoses on synthetic marijuana. And if you’re anything like me, you might be wondering what K2 is and why the hell people are suddenly overdosing on it. K2, also known as Spice, has been sold over the counter at bodegas and head shops for years, in packets for as little as $1-$5. As just a regular, old, ex-pothead, when I first heard about “synthetic marijuana,” I thought it was a potentially good thing I would never try, like it was concocted in a lab and had been engineered to have all the things I would look for in a good old-fashioned nugget. Not true. New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Basset said in October 2015 that it’s better to imagine “somebody in a T-shirt in a warehouse, hosing down leaves with some concoction that’s made up of chemicals that they bought on the internet.”

Well, that’s fucking disgusting. A packet of K2 usually includes dried spices, to make it seem like weed, sprayed with varying chemical compounds that people roll up into joints. Technically, it’s illegal in the U.S., but manufacturers — mainly from China— keep tweaking the compound mixture to slip through the cracks, according to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. They label the packets “not intended for human consumption,” but kids and drug addicts will smoke anything.

It’s marketed as giving users the same kind of high as marijuana, but that’s just false. While the compounds might grab on to the same cannabinoid receptors in your brain as THC and CBDs, the compounds in weed that get you stoned, it’s not likely that they are having the same effect. Mainly because people report users to be walking around “zombie-like.” Sure, if you’re the only sober person hanging out with a bunch of potheads, sometimes they seem like morons, but the sleepy, weird effect K2 has on people, or at least the effect this “bad batch” that has been circulating in New York City, doesn’t look or sound like someone eating tacos after a bong hit.

Even though K2 overdoses have taken over headlines, use of the drug isn’t as prevalent as it might seem. It’s popular in poor areas, given its price and because it doesn’t show up on drug tests. So, if you want to get stoned before a mandatory drug test, it might seem like a good option. But it’s not. If you want to get high, sticking to the good, old herb nature gave us is probably the best way to go. Who needs packets of chemically-laced dried thyme?

Tags: drugs, k2