What is Spice?

Spice is synthetic cannabinoid comprising of a combination of herbs laced with synthetic chemicals meant to mimic cannabis’s psychoactive substances.

It has a flaky texture, green in colour and is usually smoked.

It’s both strong and cheap, making it appealing to some of society’s most vulnerable groups, including the homeless.

What is Spice made of?

The chemicals used in the manufacture of spice were formulated by American chemist John Huffman during his studies of the impact of cannabis on the human brain. The production of synthetic compounds involved in the experiment led to the creation of a new compound, JWH-018.

Fast forward over two decades and most Spice sold on the streets doesn’t even contain JWH-018. Instead, it contains variations of it, which are both untested and unreliable.

What effects does Spice have on users?

Like cannabis, Spice can make users feel happy and relaxed, but the effects are much stronger and often unpredictable.

Users recall experiences of feeling brain-dead and paralysed, with numerous reports of people having sometimes fatal heart attacks and strokes.

Cases have also been reported of kidney damage, liver damage and psychosis.


Why is it called the ‘Zombie Drug?’

Spice also goes by the name of “Zombie Drug,” due to the zombie-like state it can leave users in.

The issue became so widespread that videos of people slumped on park benches and the like went viral on social media, prompting a trend of “zombie hunting” on sites like Facebook.

How is Spice different from cannabis?

Although Spice is meant to mimic the psychoactive effects of cannabis, it is not the same thing.

Although the chemicals in Spice and THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana) act upon the same part of the brain, the chemicals in Spice can be over 100 times stronger.

Cannabis is also sold in buds whereas Spice is a mixture of herbs.