Synthetic Cannabis Side Effects – Know when to stop abusing legal highs

Written by Legal Highs NZ on . Posted in About Synthetic Cannabis, Legal Highs, Synthetic Cannabis

Synthetic Cannabis use, just like any drug, including alcohol can cause a number of side effects, some of which can be more serious the more you use.

Just like alcohol there are common side effects from using synthetic cannabis, but more serious side effects can occur when a user abuses these products.

Some side effects from drugs and alcohol are quite similar, however where alcohol may cause a user to have reduced anxiety, some synthetic cannabis drugs may induce mild anxiety in heavy or first time users.

Because not all synthetic drugs are created equally and many products contain different chemicals and cannabinoids with different effects, many of these effects may be more or less pronounced depending on which brand of synthetic cannabis you are using.

Some of the side effects from using synthetic cannabis in a moderate fashion may include;

  • similar effects to smoking cannabis, usually stronger and shorter lasting
  • fast and irregular heartbeat
  • relaxation
  • euphoria
  • rapid pulse rate
  • heavy chest
  • racing thoughts and racing mind
  • delayed reaction time
  • dizziness
  • anxiety
  • paranoia

However some heavy users and abusers of synthetic cannabis, usually people smoking more than two or three packs per day have also reported some more serious side effects from certain products, which include;

  • rapid heart rate
  • hypertension
  • rapid breathing
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • chest pain
  • heart palpitations
  • severe paranoia
  • worrying about dying or thoughts like “am I going to die?”
  • tremors
  • seizures
  • hallucinations
  • disconnection from reality
  • psychosis, in some cases lasting for several days

People with pre-existing or undiagnosed mental illness may find that their previously unrecognized symptoms may be more noticeable and could trigger the progression of side effects from mental illness.

If you have ANY form of the following health or mental disorders you should NOT use any synthetic psychoactive substance – legal or not:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Drug Abuse Disorder
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Depression Disorder
  • Mood Disorder
  • Eating Disorder
  • Substance Abuse Disorder
  • Physical Health Disorders

If you or someone you know has experienced any of severe side effects above, it could be a sign that you or your friends need to cut back on or STOP the use of these substances.

Just like alcohol, when used to excess or abused, heavy use of synthetic cannabis may cause serious side effects to some people and are a good sign that you must stop using them or take a good break.

If you need help to quit synthetic cannabis, alcohol or any drugs, call the;
Alcohol Drug Helpline – 0800 787 797

How much is too much?

Users that consume no more than 2.5 grams of synthetic cannabis per week are less likely to experience severe negative side effects from synthetic cannabis.

Users that consume more than 10 grams of synthetic cannabis per week are much more likely to experience severe negative side effects from synthetic cannabis.

Every user is different and every person is likely to be more or less tolerable to the mental and physical effects of heavy substance abuse.

We recommend limiting your use of synthetic cannabis to no more than 2.5 grams per week. Due to the relative strength of synthetic cannabis, we guesstimate this to be around the equivalent of 3 grams of natural cannabis or the equivalent of 12 standard beers in terms of relative mental, physical and social harm. Synthetic Cannabis products and their active ingredients will undergo further studies and scientific testing in the next 24 months to determine a scientific level of relative harm to ensure that they are low risk.


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Legal Highs NZ

Legal Highs NZ

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