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drug information

What they are

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Synthetic cannabinoids are structurally different from THC (the active component of cannabis) but act in similar ways to affect the cannabinoid system in the brain.

Synthetic cannabinoids fall into seven major structural groups:

  1. Naphthoylindoles (e.g. JWH-018, JWH-073)
  2. Naphthylmethylindoles
  3. Naphthoylprrroles
  4. Naphthylmethylindenes
  5. Phenylacetylindoles
  6. Cyclohexylphenois (e.g. CP 47,497)
  7. Classical cannabinoids (e.g. HU-210)

Synthetic cannabinoids, in their original state, are a liquid. They are usually sold combined with dried herbs intended for smoking. They can be purchased in a range of quantities, for example, by the gram, ounce or pre-rolled like a ‘joint’. They are occasionally sold as powders and if so may be drunk as a tea.

"Spice" was the earliest in a series of synthetic cannabinoids sold in many Western countries. Since then a number of other similar products have been developed for sale such as "Kronic", "Northern Lights", "K2", "Zeus", "Puff", "Tai High", "Aroma" and "Magic Dragon".

There are hundreds of cannabinoid compounds and more are being produced all the time.  Manufacturers are constantly changing compositions to produce new products and to keep in step with legal controls over the sale of the substances.

NOTE: as of the 8th of May, 2014 there are no psychoactive substances legally available for sale in New Zealand.


Legal cannabis, legal pot, legal weed, herbal highs. Usually referred to by a product brand name such as K2, Spice, Kronic etc…