JWH-018 is an analgesic chemical, often described as a pain-killer from the naphthoylindole family, which acts on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. In animals, it produces effects very similar to those of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. The substance is commonly known as 'Spice', 'K2 drug' and 'Synthetic Marijuana'.
Now-a-days it is emerging as a popular drug of choice for teens even as it poisons them. Medical director of Rocky Mountain Poison Center and director of Surveillance for the American Association of Poison Control Centers said that these products weren't designed for human consumption. He also termed it as a designer drug similar to Marijuana. It is not Marijuana, although it acts similarly in the user.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) currently lists JWH-018 as "Drugs and Chemicals of Concern". A study 'Journal Of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology' has shown that JWH-018 can cause various health problems. Some of the dangerous effects of JWH-018 are:
Short term memory loss
JWH-018 contains synthetic chemicals that mimic THC by acting on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. It affects the functions of the brain resulting in Central Nervous System (CNS) depression and memory loss. Since JWH-018 binds itself to CB1 receptors dominantly found in the brain, you can notice symptoms of alterations in the control of emotions, motivation, judgment, learning and memory.
Extreme sedation that may lead to coma
Smoking higher doses of JWH-018 might be quite dangerous. It acts similar to Cannabis and provides relaxing and sedative effects. Reported scarier and harmful effects of the substance includes extreme sedation that may lead to coma.
JWH-018 abuse effects are said to be similar to Marijuana effects. It is a chemical compound that acts on cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the areas that THC in Marijuana bond with to produce feelings of euphoria.
JWH-018 is also said to produce similar effects to that of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. This substance is often associated with clear cerebral effects, people also report Cannabis-like side effects such as paranoia.
Though JWH-018 acts like Marijuana, many people, mostly teenagers are showing up with symptoms which don't match up with marijuana effects. Some of the symptoms include increased agitation and elevated blood pressure and increased heart rates. It is said to increase the anxiety levels.
Confusion and vomiting
Some of the side effects of this drug, also called as 'fake weed' include slight confusion and vomiting.
Shocking brain effects
JWH-018 mimics the mechanism of THC found in Marijuana, thus affecting the functions of the brain. JWH-018 creates shocking brain effects which impair the control of emotions, motivation, judgment, memory and learning.
JWH-018 and many of its substitutes are full agonists and users may experience far more intense effects compared to smoking Marijuana. A professor of toxicology at Saint Louis University observed that smoking the fake weed (JWH-018) causes severe, potentially life-threatening hallucinations.
When overdosed, Cannabinoid receptor full agonists may pose serious threat to the user. JWH-018 may cause intense anxiety, agitation, and even seizures or convulsions. Users can be effected by seizures and other reactions to the substance.
Effects in the cardiovascular system
JWH-018 seriously effects the cardiovascular system of the user. It increases heart rate and blood pressure. The effects of JWH-018 on the throat and lungs may be serious. It can make your throat burn and your lungs ache even hours after you smoke it.
Cognitive and psychological effects
Regular use of JWH-018 has many potent psychological and cognitive effects including short-term memory loss, extreme sedation, euphoria, paranoia, anxiety, confusion and difficulty in learning.
JWH-018 may pose a serious threat to the body of the user. It is said to produce the same Cannabis effects and some of its main physical symptoms are: bloodshot eyes and droopy eyelids (noted only in some users), drowsiness, tachycardia (increased heart rate), respiratory suppression etc.
There are no standard consequences of prolonged JWH-018 use in humans as of now. More research is certainly coming up but until then caution is advised and its use is discouraged. Its use is considered illegal in many countries across the world. Remember, anytime you consume an unregulated drug or a drug with unknown effects, you are taking a risk.