Synthetic cannabinoid drugs have become an established part of the recreational drug landscape in the United States and internationally. These drugs are manufactured in clandestine laboratories internationally and distributed in the United States in smoking mixtures, use of which produces effects very similar to use of marijuana.
There is growing toxicological and pharmacological evidence of impairment, psychosis, tissue injury, and isolated deaths attributable to this emerging class of drugs.
“Collection of the data to highlight this risk has been hampered by the limitations of many laboratories to detect these novel drugs in postmortem and criminal casework,” says Dr. Logan. “NMS Labs has developed tests that keep up with this rapidly changing market to give the most reliable answers to our customers in these investigations.”
This review has collected and summarized reports of adverse events including emergency department admissions, mental health admissions, clinical and forensic case reports, and impaired driving incidents. Case characteristics are tabulated and discussed to highlight the current state of knowledge of adverse effects, both clinical and forensic in humans, including effects on driving ability, tissue injury and death. The greatest weight is given to those reports that include toxicological confirmation of use.
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