Popular Science

K2's deadly mystery: Nobody knows what’s actually in synthetic marijuana

The constantly shifting chemical formula makes illness from these drugs hard to treat.
synthetic marijuana

If cannabinoid receptors were a dial, the plant would consistently turn it up a few notches. The synthetic compounds, on the other hand, would spin it freely—sometimes they’re hundreds of times more potent than THC.


This week, overdosed on the synthetic marijuana known as K2 during a single 24 hour period in New Haven, Connecticut, stretching the resources of the city’s emergency medical services. Initial speculations were that the substance might have been doctored with fentanyl. But the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with any other substances, though its still possible that some of the overdose victims also had the potent opioid in their systems.

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