What is the issue?
Synthetic cannabis is not approved as safe for human consumption and can induce unpredictable adverse effects such as seizures, agitation, increased heart rate and psychosis.
Often the chemical compounds contained within synthetic cannabinoids or other synthetic drug products are not specified, and remain unknown. Therefore it is difficult to identify causative agents for adverse effects and instigate appropriate treatments.
Similar products to ‘Marley’ include K2, Kronic, Ash Inferno, Black Widow and Slappa. . The Victorian Government is currently introducing legislation expanding the definition of illicit drugs to include synthetic drugs.
Who is at risk?
Any individual using illicit drugs or synthetic drug products, including synthetic cannabis, is at serious risk of harm. These drugs are untested and unregulated and may therefore include a range of undisclosed chemicals that cause serious health and safety issues.
Be alert for potential synthetic drug use in any patients presenting with agitation, confusion, seizures, vomiting, loss of consciousness, hyper/hypotension, myocardial ischaemia or myocardial dysfunction.
Prevention and treatment
Any patient reporting or suspected of using synthetic cannabis should be advised of the risk to their health. There is no antidote to the effects of synthetic cannabis or their contaminants. Treatment is generally supportive. Discuss with Poisons Information for further advice.