Synthetic cannabinoids developer: „don't use them!”

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Synthetic cannabinoids developer: „don't use them!”

Compounds found in synthetic cannabis are"not meant for human consumption”, says Professor emeritus John W. Huffman – the scientist that more than 15 years ago synthesized multiple artificial cannabis

Compounds found in synthetic cannabis are “not meant for human consumption”, says Professor emeritus John W. Huffman – the scientist that more than 15 years ago synthesized multiple artificial cannabinoids. Effects of his work, marked with his initials (JWH-011, JWH-066 etc), have not been studied carefully enough to be judged safe for use. Though as a legal substitutes of cannabis those substances have an obvious market value and appeal, ''their effects in humans have not been studied and they could very well have toxic effects. They absolutely should not be used as recreational drugs.'' Created as a part of scientific study it became a subject of publications and peer reviewed debate. Unfortunately, observes Professor Huffman, ''some people have figured out how to make them and are putting them in products''.

There is a high probability that what you find in the “legal highs” trying to emulate marijuana is actually a product of Prof Huffman academic work. As an organic chemist at the Clemson University, he conducted a National Institute on Drug Abuse supported research on those between 1984 and 2010. The study was dedicated to the cannabinoids chemical structure and their influence on the biological activity.

One of the main differences between natural and artificial marijuana is that apart from THC – the main psychoactive ingredient – the plant consists of a number of different substances that act in their own specific way with brain's cannabinoid receptors. Those receptors have a very precise and important role to play – they don't exist merely to get us high (though that's a definitely nice side effect). Cannabinoid receptors in our brains regulate such things like mood, pain, have their role in inflammation, appetite disorders, nausea, as well as more severe illnesses such as cancer, liver disease or osteoporosis.

Messing with those is certainly not a good idea – and messing it is, if you use untested, synthetic cannabinoids. Ganja has thousands of years of human use – the artificially, lab created substitutes are around for a mere fraction of that period. Prof Huffman strongly advices to stay cautious with this stuff - ''I would emphasise the risk people are taking when they smoke these products. We simply don't know what the health effects might be.'' He should know what he's talking about – after all, he created it.