In an alarming trend, people looking for a marijuana-like experience with a seemingly lower risk are turning to K2, a synthetic blend of herbs that is smoked, snorted or eaten in several forms. Experts warn that K2 can have serious or lethal side effects and may be stronger in effect than marijuana or other drugs. It’s also difficult to detect the synthetic narcotic in drug tests, leading to higher numbers of use in the U.S.
K2, also called Spice, is legal in some states and is sold at boutique smoke shops. The substance is often referred to as a type of manmade marijuana, and is increasing in popularity across the U.S. It can be purchased online, in boutique shops or convenience stores – often alongside products like incense. The active ingredient in K2 is THC, a compound with psychoactive properties like marijuana. Despite misleading packaging, many users have become seriously ill and some have needed professional and medical assistance to stop using the substance.