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Often called synthetic cannabis, these substances typically consist of a smokable plant material with a synthetic cannabinoid applied to it. It's safest not to use synthetic cannabinoids at all. If you do, treat them with extreme caution to avoid an unpleasant experience, injury or death.
Synthetic cannabinoids are illegal, addictive and dangerous. Countless synthetic cannabinoids have been invented in the past 20 years. Examples found in New Zealand include 5F-ADB, AB-FUBINACA, AMB-FUBINACA and JWH-122. They target the cannabinoid receptors in the brain like cannabis, but can be more toxic. More than fifty New Zealanders are suspected of having died after using synthetic cannabinoids since mid 2017.
Synnies have a powerful "out of it" effect. Beyond that, it's impossible for us to tell you the experience you will have because you are unlikely to know what synthetic cannabinoid you have. That said, be prepared for these common experiences to varying degrees:
If someone falls unconscious after smoking synthetic cannabinoids they could die.
People are often very out of it after using synthetic cannabinoids. They may collapse or “drop”, foam at the mouth or experience temporary paralysis.
Place them in a stable side position if possible and continuously monitor breathing.
Always call an ambulance if someone:
For heavy users, the comedown or withdrawal can last days or weeks depending on how much and how often the drug was used. There are a range of common symptoms:
Seek help to manage more serious withdrawal symptoms such as:
A significant number of users in New Zealand experience extreme reactions, serious psychological distress or loss of consciousness requiring hospitalisation with risk of death.