Each year, U.S. Poison Control Centers receive hundreds of calls related to synthetic cannabinoid poisonings.
These drugs — with names like Spice, K2, and Mr. Nice Guy — can cause severeTrusted Source, life threatening health effects such as agitation, confusion, psychosis, and seizures.
Overall, synthetic cannabinoid exposures have dropped in recent years, Poison Control data shows — falling from a high of 7,792 in 2015 to 984 in 2021. That number continued to decline in 2022, with 313 cannabinoid exposures as of July 31.
Some researchers have attributed this decline, at least among adolescents, to increased federal regulation of these compounds, which has reduced their availability.
But a new analysis, published online on August 8 in Clinical Toxicology, suggests that the drop in synthetic cannabinoid poisonings may be due, in part, to the legalization of recreational cannabis in various states, which provides the option for many people to legally buy safer cannabis products, depending on where they live.
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