Using synthetic cannabis found to be more risky than skunk

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17th June 2015 11:39 - Chemicals

According to the annual Global Drug Survey, synthetic cannabis is now considered to be of the most dangerous recreational drugs of all.Using synthetic cannabis found to be more risky than skunk

The survey – which questioned more than 100,000 people from 50 different countries - revealed that the risk of having to get emergency medical help after using synthetic cannabis was 30 times higher than with the potent, herbal cannabis, skunk.

In 2009 synthetic cannabis was made illegal and is referred to as a synthetic cannabinoid. Synthetic cannabinoid contains the same active chemical as herbal cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Of the respondents, 1 in 8 frequent users of synthetic cannabis said that they had sought emergency medical treatment in the last 12 months. The survey drew from the findings that the likelihood of seeking emergency medical treatment was higher when using synthetic cannabis than any other drug.

When looking at which countries used synthetic cannabis the most, the United Kingdom ranked in 4th place, with New Zealand, Hungary and Poland ranking higher, in 3rd, 2nd and 1st place.

The findings from the survey showed that 2.3 per cent of respondents from the United Kingdom had experimented with synthetic cannabis.

One of the most popular types of synthetic cannabis is known as Spice – the drug that hospitalised five students from Lancaster University in May 2015.

The annual survey is known to be able to track trends in drugs over time. It also profiles drugs and identifies key problems for those who are in charge of the drug policy.

The survey also discovered that nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the 7th most popular drug in the world and the United Kingdom had the 2nd highest number of nitrous oxide users, with 23.7 per cent of the survey’s respondents saying that they had experimented with laughing gas in the last year.

The country which had the highest number of nitrous oxide users was the Netherlands.

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