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Schlatter J.,Laboratoire Of Toxicologie Medicolegale | Chiadmi F.,Laboratoire Of Toxicologie Medicolegale | Chariot P.,Service de Medecine Legale | Chariot P.,University of Paris 13
Annales de Biologie Clinique | Year: 2012

Smokable herbal mixtures under the brand name Spice were first sold on the Internet and in various specialised shops in 2006 or earlier. When smoked, the Spice products have effects similar to those of cannabis. Forensic investigations were undertaken by German and Austrian authorities in order to identify the psychoactive ingredients of Spice. A new psychoactive substance JWH-018 has been identified in Spice products. JWH-018 was first synthesized in 1995 and produces effects similar to those THC. Subsequently, the synthetic cannabinoid CP 47,497was also identified. Outside of Europe, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration reported that another potent synthetic cannabinoid, HU-210, had been found. Since 2009, other synthetic cannabinoids were identified in Europe. None of the above-mentioned synthetic cannabinoids is internationally controlled as a drug and there is no information on any of them having been authorised as a medicinal product in the European Union. There are no officially published safety data and little is known about their effects in humans. Some of the characteristics of these compounds, e.g. volatility and activity in small doses, are likely to present further analytical and toxicological challenges. Responding to potential health concerns, Europe has taken legal actions to ban or otherwise control Spice products and related compounds.

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