Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. Please seek the advice of your doctor before you change your diet, exercise program, or any other lifestyle changes.
What is Spice, K2, Mr. Nice Guy, Mr. Happy, Atomic and other Herbal Incense
Herbal incense is a mixture of great smelling herbs and flowers that come loosely packed in a brightly colored and attractive packet. The package is clearly marked, “NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION” to legally protect the manufacturers and retail stores. However, this is exactly why people buy it. It is consumed to obtain a “high” similar to what you get when smoking marijuana. Spice is a bit more potent, however. What many people don’t realize is that there is an additive to the product which is not listed on the package. It’s a compound very similar to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. This synthetic substitute causes a similar high without detection from a urine test. For this reason, it is quite popular among those who have to pass a drug test for employment, government assistance, or as part of a hiring process.
Is This Product Legal?
This product has been on the market and legal for several years. It started becoming popular in the mid 2000s. Many convenience stores would carry the product, and it was legal to buy and sell it, just about anywhere. The Herbal Incense has several names; Spice and K2 are the most common. However, there are others such as The Dark Knight, Atomic, and Mr. Happy. The cost is about $20.00-$25.00 per gram, actually more expensive than marijuana, and the high is much shorter.
With each year that goes by, each individual country is passing a law, classifying this substance as a Schedule I controlled substance, therefore making it illegal to sell, purchase, or possess. As of March 1, 2011 all 50 of the United States have deemed this product an illegal drug and have outlawed it. As of March 1, 2012 Finland was the last country to ban herbal incense.
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What are the Dangers and Effects of Smoking This Product?
Herbal Incense is equal to or more potent than smoking marijuana. There is a synthetic compound added to the natural herbs and flowers called JWH-018. It is supposed to release a feeling of euphoria, or “high” for those who smoke it. It burns much hotter than marijuana, making it harder on the lungs.
There has been little to no clinical studies. Because the manufacturers and retail stores are selling you a product that is not made for human consumption, as they claim on each individual packet, there is no need for the government, specifically the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate it. This means that most people are taking a major risk when ingesting this product since nobody has any idea what kind and how much of the synthetic THC substitution is added to the mix.
A hospital is not a fun place to be overdosing or having a bad trip on a bad drug. If you are given the opportunity to smoke herbal incense, please be wise and heed this warning that you may be very sorry you try it. Unfortunately, many people have had bad experiences causing hospital visits because of a bad reaction.
Thank you for your reading my hub. I certainly hope the read was helpful and educational so that you can be aware of what is legal and available to your children. I like to learn from others, as well, so please feel free to comment below.
"Be kind to one another" ~ Ellen
God Bless You ~ Margaret Sullivan
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Andy on January 15, 2015:
Shane speaks the truth. using just a pinch of the product is the best way to have fun and stay safe at the same time
Shane Parlison on February 21, 2014:
It's all about controlling your doses VERY CAREFULLY. You see, the thing is people think just because it's effects are like chronic means they can smoke a whole fucking joint and hold it in as long as they can. BUT THEY CAN'T! the proper dose is a PINCH OF INCENSE! And hold it in 8-12 seconds. Wait about 45 seconds after taking the hit to see if it accellerates. DON'T HOLD IT IN ANY LONGER UNLESS YOU'VE DONE THIS ALOUGHT if you have 15-20 seconds then. When you come down you can redose all throughout the day but DON'T DO IT MORE THAN 2 DAYS IN A ROW! After 2 days take a 1-2 week break. If you smoke it at the recommended dose and you get any chest pains, headaches or naseua DON'T USE THAT BRAND AGAIN AND SWITCH TO ANOTHER BRAND! This is because you might be allergic to something in this specific brand and doing it again could cause worse reactions. That's you should do that. A good beginner brand is called Supernova. A good intermediate brand is G20 and Mad Matter. DON'T USE THE SPICE OR K2 BRANDS! If you follow this than you will be safe and responsible. DO NOT USE MORE THAN A PINCH IN A BOWL AT ONCE! If you smoke up all of your bowl and you feel not high enough use another pinch and take ONE hit and wait again. That's how to safely use it. Be responsible. Don't act like a big man and smoke a whole joint... Unless you want to be dragged down to hell by the devil and back to earth. Trust me i know what im talking about. Be safe psychonauts.
Mmargie1966 (author) from Gainesville, GA on December 26, 2013:
Thank you for your input, Ben. I almost denied the comment because of the profanity, but decided the information was too important not to post.
Ben on December 26, 2013:
Ok, how old is this article...? Because I have used spice for about 5 years, off and on, and I know for a fact that JWH-018 has been on the federal ban list for about 4 years. aloong with JWH0014 JWH-118, UR-144, JMS-136, and about 15 others, but it's a simple scientific concept, change one atomic moleculle, and you go from diatomic hydrogen, to water. i mean honestly, they haven't had train wreck, or frye in YEARS. try mindtrip, have you seen moly, Mr. Happy, WTF, Green bag hatter, OMG, Mr nice guy, deadman, or any of the other 534 different chemical compounds. The shit is simple to make, and its simpler to get fucked up on. Do i advocate it for the average recreational drug user? HELL NO. Do i think you should push this shit off on kids as a synthetic marijuana? FUCK NO! because it isn't a synthetic marijuana. It is, however, a sythetic and combustible analouge for heroin. The high is like crack, with the "good bags" you stay high for about 45 minutes, and you get "sick" as fuck like you were coming off of heroin. The test chemicals are dangerous, to extremes. I hate it when people call this shit K2. They haven't sold K2 since the original federal ban movement in 08. I mean really... if you are going to "teach" peole about something, try some pratical and timely research. The shit is NOT a synthetic weed, it is NOT anything likeweed. It is a hallucinogenic drug, with stimulantlike qualities similar to amhetamines, and is analougous with opiods. it is a combustible, readily available, federally regulated designer drug, and trust me, it has a MUCH darker side than the surface details. The same with bath salt, plkant food, glas cleaner, etc. They are dangers stimulantlike drugs, labeled and classified as hallucinogens. Why do you think people "trip" they are a synthetic form of Lysergic acid, with heroin like withdrawal symptoms, and amphetaminelike appetite suppressuin, and sleep depruvation symptomology. it is VERY common forvpeople addicted to "fake" to literally forget how to function withoout it. I know quite a few individuals who have to smoke an average of 10-15 grams a day to feel normal. they don't get high until they get onto their 4th 5G bag. Oh... and while I'm calling you out on what's wrong with this article, WHERE the HEL are you buying the shit 25 a Gram? and why the hell has no one told you you're getting ripped the fuck off. It's as easy as a googkle search finding a United States dealer selling onlinefor bout 4-7 bucks a gram. If\F its good, the scooby snax, or new gen bizarro is about 2.50 a G. and you can buy in bulk. seriously, you want to learn about a drug, talk to an informed addict, don't read a blog from a parent who read a pamplhet in a hospital waiting room.
Mmargie1966 (author) from Gainesville, GA on June 18, 2013:
Thank you for your comment, Fareed.
Fareed on June 16, 2013:
In our religion (Al Islam) everything goes the mind is not allowed
In my opinion, if a person adheres to his religion, would not allow himself to try it
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds
karen on January 18, 2013:
My niece got hooked on this stuff for quite some time. She had to have it 24/7 I mean even upon waking up in the night( which she didn't sleep often) she had been taken to the emergency room several times deathly sick. Which in the end result was "spice" it took her 19 year old boyfriends death to finally quit. It was a hard ride for her but she over came it. My thoughts are NEVER TRY IT ONCE!!
aarondasmoker on January 12, 2013:
Wow. You have been on both sides of the fence huh? Impressive I must say. I have 3 DWI's, have tried every single drug under the sun, was addicted to pills that my crackpot psychiatrist prescribed to me of which I abused and ended up in the hospital. And you know what's really unusual? I did all these things while I completed my Bachelors degree. Where does that fit into any of the comments posted here? There is currently no long term research that has been done at all on the long term effects of synthetic cannaboids. I feel that everyone is entitled to a sweet release. This substance just enables what everyone in life wants, to feel good, with no effort put forth. Unfortunately, all it takes is one molecule to be changed in a manufactured chemical substance for it to be given a diffent name and when that happens the illegal substance becomes legal. Similar to firearms. All it takes is for one item in a weapon that has been made illegal, to be changed, and it becomes legal. Why instead don't you focus your attention on the gun control that all congressman seem to know everything about, even though none of them have ever picked up a gun, and leave people to their pleasures?
Brent Jones from California on October 11, 2012:
Spice is horrible. I have been on both sides of the fence, too. I used to advocate it to all my friends. Now I feel like an idiot. Please, if you are even thinking about smoking or need some support check out http://www.squidoo.com/am-i-addicted-to-herbal-inc... It is my true story
Mmargie1966 (author) from Gainesville, GA on October 08, 2012:
Thank you for the link.
Brent Jones from California on October 05, 2012:
This stuff messes people all up. Check out my blog on my experience at http://quitsmokingherbalincense.blogspot.com/
Do yourself a favor and never start smoking this poison!!!
Mmargie1966 (author) from Gainesville, GA on May 27, 2012:
Thank you so much for sharing your story!
Steve Orion from Tampa, Florida on May 27, 2012:
An interesting Hub on an interesting subject. I myself started smoking marijuana for the first time with a couple new friends who smoked marijuana and spice regularly. They would not make a distinction, for me, between the two, which lead me to ignorance concerning both drugs.
Today, I know about each and say, without a doubt, I would not do spice again. It is artificial and contains harmful chemicals. This is what illegalization of marijuana does, it promotes the use of unsafe substitutes. What spice is, in most cases, is Damiana with chemicals sprayed on it. Those chemicals are what mess you up so severely. The worst trip I've ever had was on this stuff, an experience on which I've written about, as well.
Thanks for this Hub,rated up, useful and interesting. It is a shame ignorant American teens could buy this at a gas station, and, while it is technically illegal, they still can buy it under the counter.