woman staring off into the distance dealing with the side effects of spice addiction

Spice Addiction

Have you heard of Spice or K2? It’s also called synthetic marijuana because it’s in a class of substances that contain synthetic cannabinoids. These chemicals bind to the same cannabinoid receptors that are activated when you use natural marijuana. Despite having this in common, Spice differs greatly from the marijuana plant and dangers. Spice addiction leads to many unexpected side effects and medical problems.

Don’t underestimate the dangers of Spice addiction, reach out to the addiction treatment center in Boston, Massachusettes for specialized treatment.

Spice vs Marijuana

The psychoactive ingredient in the marijuana plant is THC, which gets you stoned or high. Synthetic marijuana is also psychoactive, but this is because of its synthetic cannabinoids. It doesn’t contain any THC. Synthetic cannabinoids can stimulate cannabinoid receptors at different levels of intensity and for different lengths of time. Some of these chemicals have a similar structure as THC; others don’t.

Synthetic cannabinoids can also activate other receptors in your brain that THC can’t. This can lead to unexpected effects. There’s no way of telling what synthetic cannabinoids you have when you purchase them. Synthetic marijuana doesn’t contain CBD, which is found in natural marijuana. CBD is an anti-psychotic and helps counteract the negative effects of THC, like:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Negative thoughts

Why Is Synthetic Marijuana Used?

In countries where natural marijuana is illegal, people may find it easier to buy synthetic marijuana. It can also be more affordable than natural marijuana. Other people may use synthetic marijuana over natural marijuana to pass drug tests because Spice doesn’t trigger a positive result, unlike THC. Spice also produces a high that mimics natural marijuana, with feelings of:

  • Euphoria
  • Giddiness
  • Altered perception
  • Relaxation

If you’re concerned about passing a drug test, consider getting help at the marijuana addiction treatment center in Boston. Don’t risk turning a marijuana habit into a Spice addiction.

Unique Dangers of Spice Production

To make spice, synthetic cannabinoids are dissolved in a liquid-like acetone or alcohol. This liquid is then sprayed onto dried plant material. The plants used may or may not be psychoactive themselves. The process of making synthetic marijuana isn’t that precise. This means that doses can vary between batches. Some of the plants used in the process may be contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals, or mold. The synthetic cannabinoids are also sometimes mixed with other harmful substances, like opioids or rat poison. Much of synthetic marijuana in the U.S. is mass-produced overseas, meaning there is no federal control over its production. Often you’ll find “Not for human consumption” written on the packaging.

Symptoms of Spice Addiction

Spice (K2) is absolutely addictive. It carries a greater risk for addiction than natural marijuana and leads to dangerous side effects. Someone may develop a Spice addiction if they continue to chase the high of synthetic marijuana, despite its negative effects. Signs and symptoms of Spice addiction include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations or paranoia
  • Severe anxiety or panic attacks
  • Agitation or aggression
  • Hypertension
  • Tremors, seizures, or convulsions

Spice withdrawal symptoms can be even more dangerous than those of natural marijuana. Unpleasant withdrawal symptoms from Spice addiction usually begin 15 minutes after smoking. You may experience: [one-half-first]

  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Psychotic symptoms, such as delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations
  • Mood changes, including depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Palpitations

Another sign of Spice addiction is strong cravings for the drug and feeling dependent. Someone suffering a Spice addiction habitually uses synthetic marijuana even though it leads to problems with their finances, work, family life, friendships, and romantic relationships.

There is a lack of scientific research on how synthetic marijuana affects the brain. It seems the body builds up a tolerance to the drug. This is what leads to substance abuse, as Spice user take more of the substance to achieve the desirable effects.

Treatment Options for Spice Addiction

It’s critical for someone with a Spice addiction to seek substance abuse treatment in MA. While they may be able to get past the physical withdrawal symptoms on their own, psychological cravings last much longer. The long-term effects of Spice addiction are largely unknown. This is because synthetic marijuana is a relatively new substance. Some people with Spice addiction need to be closely monitored during detox from Spice because withdrawal symptoms can be unpredictable. This is because synthetic marijuana is sold in many different varieties. Long-term recovery for Spice addiction requires a few different components.

Spice Detox

If you are a heavy, regular user of synthetic marijuana, then you may need to taper off your dosage in a safe and systematic way. This can be done here at Washburn House recovery center in MA, where we offer medical detox programs in Worcester. We may prescribe medication to help relieve the withdrawal symptoms and physical discomforts of drug detox.

Addiction Therapy

Addiction therapy programs in West Massachusettes help those with Spice addiction avoid their cravings and get back to living a full life. Psychotherapy sessions can help you see how your substance abuse impacts your personal finances, family, and professional and personal lives. Talking to a therapist also allows a user to notice the underlying reasons for their Spice addiction. At Washburn House, you’ll receive counseling sessions as part of inpatient rehab and outpatient treatment. A professional therapist will work with you to learn your triggers and how to avoid them. You’ll also learn some healthy coping mechanisms.

Some of our therapy options include:


One of the most important aspects of recovery is your determination to get sober. Fully committing means removing yourself from enablers and creating a safe environment, free from triggers. Joining a support group and finding a mentor are some ways you can help yourself. Having a support network made up of people who will assist in your recovery can be essential to staying sober.

Contact Washburn House to quit Spice with the help of highly trained, experienced, passionate professionals. We have a variety of treatments and approaches that can be tailored to meet your needs for Spice addiction treatment. Call 855.298.3104 to start fighting Spice addiction.

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