Tags: Law Enforcement | Marijuana Legalization | synthetic marijuana | zombie drug | THC | overdose

Study Warns Synthetic Marijuana 85 Times More Potent Than THC

Image: Study Warns Synthetic Marijuana 85 Times More Potent Than THC

Scooby Snax synthetic marijuana – also known as kush. (AP Photo/Rex Features)

Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 11:02 PM

A designer drug originally developed by Pfizer as a synthetic cannabinoid has caused dozens of overdoses – including 18 people last summer found walking "zombie-like" near a Brooklyn subway station, The New York Times reported.

The startling case was cited in a study published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine, The Times reported – offering the first detailed look at a drug that has raised alarms in both the medical and law enforcement communities.

The synthetic marijuana used in Brooklyn was known by the street name as AK-47 24 Karat Gold – and was 85 times as potent as the main agent in plant-grown marijuana, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, The Times reported.

Roy Gerona, a clinical chemist at the University of California, San Francisco, who helped write the report, warned "there is this false idea out there that these drugs are safe, because no one overdoses on marijuana."

The Times noted synthetic cannabinoids have a different chemical structure from THC – and their chemical compounds, often created in labs in China, are unregulated and hard to detect.

The Brooklyn drug outbreak, for example, involved a product for which Pfizer established a patent in 2009; but AB-FUBINACA was never tested on humans and was apparently abandoned, The Times reported.

The patent, however, remained public.

In Brooklyn, it seemed someone had gotten the dosing wrong, The Times reported, resulting in its users falling into a trancelike state, groaning and moaning, their eyes lifeless and their movements slow and seemingly mechanical.

Just last month, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration issued an alert for a new designer drug called Pink, which had been responsible for 46 deaths, including 31 in New York and 10 in North Carolina, The Times reported.

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A designer drug originally developed by Pfizer as a synthetic cannabinoid has caused dozens of overdoses – including 18 people last summer found walking "zombie-like" near a Brooklyn subway station, The New York Times reported.
synthetic marijuana, zombie drug, THC, overdose
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2016-02-15
Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 11:02 PM
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