Synthetic Marijuana: Do's and Don'ts for Buying Spice at Head Shops

Categories: Buzz Buzz

head shop_sized.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
Before entering a head shop to buy "spice," it's important to learn the legal lingo.
Anyone who's ever been to a head shop knows that you have to watch your language. You don't ask about "bongs," but "water pipes." You don't ask for "something to clean out my system for a drug test," but "something for detox." And when purchasing glass crack pipes, a customer can only ask how well their "tobacco" will burn in them.

Similarly, you can't walk into a head shop and ask if they sell "legal bud," "legal herb," or "synthetic marijuana" (well, you could, but you'd be universally told "no"). Sure, they sell herbal blends (often referred to as "spice") that will get you high if you smoke them, but these herbal blends are labeled as "incense" with a warning they're "not for human consumption."

So how does someone who wants to try smoking spice go about buying it at a local head shop without being ousted for "illegal language?" A hopefully helpful list of "Do and Don't" is after the jump.


Don't:
Ask about "legal bud," "legal herb," "synthetic marijuana," or "that stuff that's supposed to get people high."
Do:
Ask if they have "herbal incense blends like Spice or K2."

Don't:
Ask the sales associate if he's smoked the blend and how well it works.
Do:
Ask the sales associate if he's ever "burned" this particular incense blend, and if so, how "strong" the incense is.

Don't:
Ask the sales associate how you're supposed to smoke herbal incense, or even indicate that you plan on smoking it (some sales associates may refuse to even sell incense to you if you reveal your true intentions in the store).
Do:
A little research. A quick Google search for "synthetic marijuana" or "spice" will reveal links to dozens of news articles and forums, where users talk about smoking it. Employing the Greek maxim "All things in moderation" is always a good idea.

spice gold_sized.jpg
Spice Gold, one of the more popular "herbal incense" blends.

Don't:
Buy herbal incense or spice off Craigslist or on the street. Head shops have more liability with the products they sell, and are less likely to sell "dirty" incense blends with mystery herbs and unknown compounds and doses of synthetic cannabinoids.
Do:
Check the selection at your local head shop. If a head shop carries several brands of herbal incense with varying flavors and degrees of "aromatic potency," there's a good chance store management and employees have done their research about the products and brands.

Don't:
Ask the sales associate if a particular incense blend contains synthetic cannabinoid compounds. If it's sold as an "herbal incense blend," the synthetics are in there.
Do:
Ask about the herbal ingredients in a blend. Many blends contain catnip, which is very harsh on the throat and lungs when smoked. Numerous blends also contain damiana (often labeled as "turnera diffusa"), which has been used traditionally in Central and South America as a relaxant. Some spice smokers says damiana enhances the potency of synthetic marijuana, so inexperienced smokers might not want it in their first blend. The smoothest and least harsh components in herbal incense blends are usually marshmallow or a common weed called mugwort.

(For more information on synthetic marijuana, check out the Buzz Buzz archives.)


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15 comments
K2King
K2King

oh and by the way how do you know about the horrible bowl movements and all that stuff some things are obvious but some of those things are personal. What you do follow a guy around that does it and smell his shit? ahaha

K2King
K2King

i just wanna tell you nature is life your full of bull man i have done this since i was 15 im 21 now i dont have a prestant cough i do not have any mood swings when i dont have it i dont fiend for the stuff i do still get high off weed its just because people cant get the high cuz they buy shit for weed you need dro due to the fact that this is a synthetic canabinoid so yes your thc recpetors are being stimulated by the synthis. i have been buying selling and trading and even though its banned in my stated I STILL GET IT WILL ALWAYS GET IT AND I CAN MAKE ITTTTTTTT but ya know what i just do what i do for myself not for money not for popluarity but for the long term goal what you dont relize is that all these labs that make synthis are set up to to a complete 180 as soon as weed is legalized i know at least Zensens (makers of bizzaro) and zenbio a knock off maker of popular brands have already promised to stop the manufaturing and distrubtion of synthis in the US IF AND ONLY IF ALL 50 STATES AND ON BOTH FEDERAL AND STATE LEVELS then they will turn the 180 into a dispensory/lab for the creation of weed the real deal. now your probably thinking yea this guys brains fried he cant spell well hellllloooooo i always have sucked in spelling. when i started at 15 my grades shot up my sex drive was amazing i could go for hours (well bout 1 1/2 hours or less) my sleeping disorders not a problem ive stopped takeing ritilin which i had been taking since i was 8 years old for my adhd i got so bad i was needing 120 mg in the morning and 30 at lunch just to make it threw the day now i dont even need to take it and i dont even have to smoke it to stay calm. ive had so many enlighting experiances from synthis its not even funny. as for the bat shit crazy people you were talking about they were prob just some meth heads trying to find a way to get a fix. my memory has improved and my list can go on and on. SOOOOO just one thing quit your bitchen and let us do what we want if you want it out so bad freaking go to your sate legislator or write them (prob better lol) and or start a movement let them know weed is the way to go! you work for a head shop and your trying to say it goes against your beliefs? then freaking quit!!!!!!! YOUR A HIPPOCRITE IF ITS SO DAMN BAD REFUSE TO SELL IT MAKE YOUR COWORKERS DO IT OR SOMETHING DONT COME ON HERE AND BAD MOUTH SOMETHING AND RUIN IT FOR EVERYONE ELSE WHO CAN HANDLE THEIR SHITMAN FOR REAL! oh and um p.s we wont i repeat WONT STOP MAKEING NEW FORMS UNTILL WE GET OUR WEED GOT IT? good

natureislife
natureislife

I work for a smoke shop and have seen first hand the damaging affect of this man made product. First off, everyone is different in their side affect because our chemical make up is different. The high is very addicting and because it only last a few minutes ( less if you are a heavy user) you want and physical need more. If the product is not available some people get insanely angry, or start shaking, sweating, having hot flashes, body aches, headaches, horrible smelling bowel movements, memory and vision loss, weak teeth and hair, that's just to name a few. Honestly, this stuff WILL KILL you in the long run, or be one of those people who die the very first time they use, because they think venom is the best. I have noticed the younger users under 30 have a higher chance of some severe side effects. . Don't share with anyone that's never tried it or the specific kind you use, because I have seen one product work for one and the other  person went bat shit crazy, you don't want that on your hands especially at work. I know users who one hit all through the day at work. the smell can be easily blend in a room full of smokers , or air freshener mask the smell indoors. People will trade their own mother in for a bag, or anything of value even if its a family air loom. ALWAYS wants a deal because they spend hundreds of dollars on the product nickel and diming. You spend money in walmart but are they going to throw out free money...hell no! Its a business. its not the employees  fault you cant control your addiction we hear that crap everyday that's why incense providers are rude and want you out as soon as possible. The effects on brain damage is a given, you will forget even your change at the register. I know other smokes shops feel me. And believe me, you are making these business owners very rich off the health and wealth of your hard earned time and money. We would never hire a person who uses, so don't ask! We know its bad, so we don't use it. And if your only excuse for using it is because your job or probation..thats loser talk. .You should have a nasty cough that last for several minutes through out the day because thats all you do. You don't care for people that smoke weed because the incense has over powered your neurotransmitter and the weed is to weak to penetrate, and it expands in the lungs so all you do is cough the whole time. If you quit or get a vaporize ( for weed) the cough will stop.  The ones I see 2 or 3 times a day in the shop better beware if this sound like you...you are a slave to this crap! No more reality because incense is all you know and all you live for. you cant sleep because you need that hit to keep from sweating or to go back to sleep just to wake up ever hour to smoke again. Its a on going cycle, where only the strong willed  people might have a chance to escape  this monster of an addiction . So take it from someone who knows and sees it everyday. The best thing for you to do is put that money right back in your pocket and get the fu ck out!!! You have be warned!!! And its a federal offense now effected May 15, so you better know your shops product.   Oh and pregnant women....really! your just asking for trouble!

bulldogNation
bulldogNation

does anyone know were I can buy "spice" in Mobile alabama?

Kathysorrells
Kathysorrells

my step son did some spice three days ago and is like freezing up often as if he has no control of his body at times and feels as if he could just hurt someone at times it only last a short time but happens often could I please get some feedback.      concerned stepmom of a wonderful stepson

Josie Jones
Josie Jones

It is the prohibition of marijuana which has made this niche for legal weed alternatives. A niche which herbal incense products are filling rather successfully. The bans against k2 smoke products are not solving anything. Many places exist where one may still buy k2 incense and seemingly vendors like, http://www.buyherbalincense.co... claim that the k2 herb products they sell are legal everywhere.

anewday23
anewday23

Lawmakers are in the process of closing any loopholes that currently exist with laws pertaining to some herbal incense products, but there efforts will prove to be fruitless in the end. The prohibition of marijuana has created this demand for legal marijuana alternatives. A rather prosperous niche that will be tapped into for as long as marijuana continues to be illegal. There are many places one may still buy k2 incense and according to the vendors, like http://www.buyherbalincense.co... the k2 herb products they sell are legal everywhere.

K2 herb
K2 herb

You'll find countless people wrongly using the K2 label. Summit, Ultra, Blonde, Solid Sex, Orisha, Amazonian Shelter, Thai Dream, and Sky are the only authentic K2 products at the moment.

K2
K2

There are actually only 8 blends of K2 at the moment. Summit, Ultra, Blonde, Solid Sex, Orisha, Thai Dream, Amazonian Shelter, and Sky. Anything else, is not K2.

sugarspreciouspugs
sugarspreciouspugs

@K2King I totally agree with you. I stopped being able to get high off of weed years back. I figured I had just built up a tolerance to it. im on Adderall also but when I have decent spice I don't even bother to take it. i deal with depression but spice takes it away.  I do get the shits at the most terrible times like when having sex. and it does keep me awake and when I don't have it I find myself doing things to get it that I would not normally do. I really hope weed becomes legal until then im looking to keep my spice. some of the spice I use to but for $15 has gone up to as much as $35 for the exact same label all because the stores can. can you tell me the best brand(s).I have had spice that smells like hay and dosent get me high. and the high from stuff like fruit punch dosent last but a few minutes and then I have to smoke more to stay high. I remember weed keeping me high a lot . you say you can make it can you teach me. I will send you my phone number or/and my email. im in my 50's im a long time pot head. but spice is k8illing my wallet and when I get crap it really sucks.

sugarspreciouspugs
sugarspreciouspugs

@natureislife I agree with a lot of the things you say. the government is particially shut down right now but I heard it was going to become illegal Oct. 1st. 2013. that is today and ive not heard anything about it here in Maryland. I guess ive not been smoking spice for about a month now because of it being so hard to find. but I will tell you this that when I went cold turkey off the spice it was hell, for a few days I was sick to my stomach, shakey, I had no appetite,throwing up nothing but my stomach fluid, I was real bad depressed and irritible. I had  to take my Adderall every day to curb some of the terrible depression and I think I need to ask the doc. for some more during the day. when I smoked spice I was happy and functional and me and my friends talked and laughed and kidded around. but too many friends started coming to me just to smoke my spice and I couldn't afford their habits too. I have a friend that does nothing but smoke spice and the spice actually made his really bad cough go away til the buzz wore off. you and K2 both have some very true aspects when it comes to my personal use of spice. I want to hear that pot is legal in my state. I got tired of chasing the spice buzz, my friends using me for it and it costing so so so much money and doing embarrassing thing to get it. I sit here now wishing I had something to make me feel motivated. good luck to us all !!!

dr.greenthumb
dr.greenthumb

could be minor strokes and or seizures, if they are muscle spasm not freezing and he gets angry its most likely a sign of steroid use, as evidence shows mood swings and muscle spasms are linked to steroid users, especially the mood swings big symptom there

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