View Full Version : K2 Giving People Another Dangerous Way to Get High

03-17-2010, 10:13 AM
A synthetic substitute for marijuana's active ingredient mixed with incense is emerging as a popular choice for teens who want to smoke and get high, even as it poisons them.

The substance, known as "spice" or "K2," is a cannabinoid, a class of drug that includes THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

First synthesized in an academic chemistry lab in South Carolina for pharmaceutical research, it moved on to be a plant-growing aid in Asia and then a substitute for marijuana in Europe before its recent emergence in the United States, where it skirts the laws placed on its herbal cousin.

"The stuff that's been put into the incense was originally made in our lab 15 years ago," said John Huffman, a professor of organic chemistry at Clemson University.