Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic Cannabinoids in England

A darkened hand holds a bag of synthetic cannabis

Synthetic cannabinoids (sCBs) are a class of designer drugs meant to interact with the endocannabinoid system. Going by names like spice and K2, they are used largely as a result of prohibition — many sCBs are technically legal and difficult to detect, so people will not be punished for use as they would be for smoking cannabis. Many synthetic cannabinoids are also used as research tools, allowing scientists to probe the role of the endocannabinoid system in disease when they cannot get legal access to THC or cannabis.

Cannabinoids in Pregnancy

A new study from researchers at San Diego State University examined the interaction between cannabinoids and alcohol on the fetus. The scientists used pregnant rats to avoid the ethical implications of exposing babies to drugs. Fetal alcohol exposure impaired coordination and motor control of the rats, which lasted throughout adolescence. But CP-55,940 — a synthetic cannabinoid much more powerful than THC — did not affect motor control. It slightly reduced weight a week after birth, but this returned to normal by the rats’ adolescence.

Coffee & Cannabis

Coffee and cannabis are two of the most widely used psychoactive substances in the world. Whereas cannabis is often consumed to relax the body, enhance perception, and stimulate creativity, coffee – like tea and other caffeinated beverages – is typically used to energize and help people focus, particularly in the face of exhaustion.