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What is K2 spice

Substance Addictions

What is K2 spice

K2 Spice is synthetic marijuana image from DEA

What is K2 spice

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K2 or “Spice” is a mixture of herbs and spices that is typically sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana. The chemical compounds typically include HU-210, HU-211, JWH-018, and JWH-073. K2 is commonly purchased in head shops, tobacco shops, various retail outlets, and over the Internet. It is often marketed as incense or “fake weed.” Purchasing over the Internet can be dangerous because it is not usually known where the products come from or what amount of chemical is on the organic material.

Common places of Origin

Manufacturers of this product are not regulated and are often unknown since these products are purchased via the Internet whether wholesale or retail. Several websites that sell the product are based in China. Some products may contain an herb called damiana, which is native to Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.


Psychological effects are similar to those of marijuana and include paranoia, panic attacks, and giddiness. Physiological effects of K2 include increased heart rate and increase of blood pressure. It appears to be stored in the body for long periods of time, and therefore the long-term effects on humans are not fully known.

  • elevated mood
  • relaxation
  • altered perception—awareness of surrounding objects and conditions
  • symptoms of psychosis—delusional or disordered thinking detached from reality
  • extreme anxiety
  • confusion
  • paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
  • hallucinations—sensations and images that seem real though they are not
  • rapid heart rate
  • vomiting
  • violent behavior
  • suicidal thoughts

Methods of Use

K2 products are usually smoked in joints or pipes, but some users make it into a tea.

Street Names

Bilss, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Fake Weed, Genie, Spice, Zohai

Looks Like

K2 is typically sold in small, silvery plastic bags of dried leaves and marketed as incense that can be smoked. It is said to resemble potpourri.

Material Referenced From Drug Enforcement Agency and National Institute on Drug Abuse

If you or someone you know needs help with addiction or substances, visit Recovery Guidance for a free and safe resource to find addiction and mental health professionals near you.


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