Although authorities are trying to crack down on synthetic marijuana, emergency department physicians are still seeing an influx of young people who experience serious side effects after taking the drug, according to Lewis S. Nelson, M.D., Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and a medical toxicologist at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Synthetic marijuana is a very misleading name for the drug, Dr. Nelson says. “It really has nothing to do with marijuana,” he notes. “The synthetic drug, called a cannabinoid, is sprayed onto ground up plant material. Unlike marijuana, you are not smoking it for the ingredients in the plant itself.”