Synthetic Marijuana: The Truth About Fake Weed | Brandon Novak

Dangers of Synthetic Marijuana: The Truth About Fake Weed

Synthetic Marijuana
Synthetic cannabinoids, more commonly known as synthetic marijuana or Spice, have been used by smokers as a replacement for the real thing since the early 2000s. Despite the dangers of synthetic marijuana, many users believe that it’s a safe and natural alternative to real cannabis. The labs behind the production of synthetic cannabis also claim that these products are safe, despite the negative impact it can have on brain function. As more states legalize marijuana use, concerns regarding synthetic weed grow stronger. 

Brandon Novak came across a variety of substances throughout his career. As a celebrity and professional skateboarder, he was often hounded by the temptation to use drugs. Fortunately, the Baltimore native was able to turn his life around and now fights against the current trends of substance abuse as a recovery advocate for Redemption Addiction Treatment Centers. 

The Truth About Fake Weed
So, what is synthetic marijuana made of? It usually contains mind-altering chemicals that mimic the effects of THC, which is the main component of marijuana. They may also contain masking agents like tocopherol, eugenol, or fatty acids to throw off drug tests.1 While Spice does produce the same symptoms of euphoria and pleasure as natural weed, it’s very different. Because fake weed is often sold over the internet, its properties are unknown. As a result, Spice smokers often ingest chemicals that vary in potency and composition, resulting in serious physical harm or death.

Synthetic marijuana negative side effects include: 
  • Altered perception
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations 
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Seizures
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Kidney damage
  • Aggressive behavior 
  • Unexplained bleeding

The most common effects of synthetic marijuana use are severe anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and psychotic episodes. This can lead to permanent mental disorders and cognitive damage. Long-term use can also lead to addiction. Although we’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to learning the truth about fake weed, spreading awareness about its negative impact is necessary. The dangers of synthetic marijuana can lead to serious bodily harm, mental illness, and even death. 

Regardless of the substance abuse disorder you’re struggling with, recovery is possible. After years of suffering from heroin addiction, Brandon Novak was able to achieve sobriety after successfully completing addiction treatment. He now helps others achieve sobriety as a certified intervention specialist.

If you or a loved one needs help, call Brandon on his direct line at

  • NCBI – Beyond THC: The New Generation of Cannabinoid Designer Drugs

  • Related Reading: 
      What Is a Recovery Advocate and What Do They Do?
      Brandon Novak Becomes a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP)
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