If you’re new to cannabinoids but have heard of their beneficial effects and would like to experience them, there’s one crucial aspect to pay attention to before investing in any product: natural cannabinoids are not the same with synthetic ones. Although synthetic products are often marketed as natural cannabis-like compounds, they are actually dangerous and can do you more harm than good. So let’s take a look at the differences between natural and synthetic cannabinoids.
Synthetic cannabinoids can do more harm than good
As you know from our previous articles, the compound in cannabis that makes you high is THC. This substance occurs naturally in the Cannabis sativa plant and has both positive and negative effects, but its main drawback is the psychoactive nature of THC.
Synthetic cannabinoids are made in the lab and are more powerful than natural ones. There is no upper limit to the psychoactive effects of these compounds, and the potency can vary greatly, which means it’s easier to experience harmful reaction with synthetic cannabinoids. Ingestion of synthetic marijuana can lead to toxic side effects and can cause extremely severe reactions.
Constant use of synthetic cannabinoids can worsen other conditions. A large study using survey data from 14,000 subjects showed that 93% prefer natural cannabis over synthetic one, and that synthetic compounds lead to more negative effects, among which paranoia and next-day hangovers. Another study showed that 2.4% of people using synthetic cannabis required emergency medical attention.
Synthetic cannabinoids act on the same brain cell receptors as THC, and although some producers claim their products contain natural compounds taken from cannabis plants, in fact the only natural parts in synthetic cannabinoids are the dried plant materials. The active principles are made in the lab and their potency and effects on the human brain and body can be unpredictable and life-threatening.
Although there’s no official study on the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on humans, there are reports describing harmful effects.
Addictive compounds with limited health benefits
Synthetic cannabinoids are included in a group of drugs called new psychoactive substances, which are regulated as mind-altering compounds. They come in different forms, from liquid products to herbal blends or powders, and are marketed under various names. Unlike natural cannabinoids, which can be safe or threatening depending on their composition and potency, synthetic cannabinoids are all dangerous.
They are full agonists to the cannabinoid receptors CB1R and CB2R, compared to THC which is only a partial agonist, and this explains the extreme effects and the severe adverse reactions of synthetic cannabinoids in comparison to natural ones. Natural THC is not able to saturate and activate all of the cannabinoid receptors, so no matter the dose and concentration, it’s less powerful than its synthetic correspondents.
Withdrawal effects of synthetic cannabinoids
Withdrawal from synthetic cannabinoids often causes effects similar to those experienced with withdrawing from the use of narcotics. These compounds are metabolized differently inside the body – when you ingest natural cannabis compounds, they are metabolized and turned into non-psychoactive substances, but with synthetic cannabinoids, the result is additional metabolites that are also psychoactive and stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. This explains the potency and toxicity of synthetic marijuana. Of all the synthetic cannabinoids out there, only Marinol is approved by FDA.
So if you have to choose between synthetic and natural cannabinoids, there’s no doubt that the natural compounds are a better option. Find out more about our full-spectrum natural organic cannabinoids, by visiting our products page.