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  1. Balzafire
    DALLAS — News 8 has learned of what may be the first death ever linked medically to the drug K2.

    Texas Health Dallas confirms 19-year-old Dominique Darrell Tate died at the hospital Friday. Tate — who also called himself "Deezy" — had posted on his Facebook page as recently as early Friday morning.

    By 11:30 that night, there were "RIP" messages from friends saying they didn't understand why he had to die.

    The medical examiner confirms to News 8 that the Lake Highlands High School graduate has a history of K2 use.

    K2 is a mixture of herbs and spices which is then sprayed with a chemical agent similar to marijuana that makes people high. People who smoke the synthetic herbal concoction claim it has 10 times the potency of pot.

    In most areas, K2 is completely legal to purchase and use.

    "Any of the herbal substances are really dangerous," said drug counselor Tony Peniston. "There's been cases of people becoming toxic from them."

    K2 is illegal in the state of Kansas. Plano, McKinney, Allen, Mansfield, Justin and Frisco have also banned the substance and Dallas is considering doing the same.

    If toxicology results confirm K2, Tate's would be the first death in the country known to be connected with K2.

    K2 is linked to hallucinations, but no one knows what other affects it could have on the human body. For example, can it cause seizures, respiratory distress, or heart attack.

    This case — if K2 is determined to be the cause — could help health experts figure that out.

    The medical examiner won't rule on a cause of death until toxicology results are back, and that could take up to 12 weeks.

    There is currently only one other reported death linked to the drug K2. In June, police in Iowa said David Rozga committed suicide after having a panic attack. Rozga had been smoking K2 with friends just before the attack.

    Rozga's death prompted the governor of Iowa to issue a statewide warning about the drug's use and its potential dangers.

    Studies of K2 have determined it is addictive. Other reported symptoms include:

    * higher heart rate
    * loss of consciousness
    * paranoia
    * hallucinations
    * psychotic episodes

    State Sen. Florence Shapiro is working on legislation to ban the drug statewide.

    August 10, 2010


  1. kailey_elise
    What are the chances that, if he used this 'legal high', that he used OTHER 'legal highs'?

    *ARE* there any chemicals in K2 that could lead to OD/death? Or because we don't know exactly what's in K2, we can't comment on that?

    Assuming K2's only actives are synthetic cannabinoids, could they lead to an OD death? Or, I guess, even just a death?

  2. rapax
    swim answer is simple: cannabinoid agonist themselves, even full agonists (like most syntehtic cannabinoids of the jwh family) would require a massive overdose to cause respiratory depression on healthy subjects. and thats the only direct risk that could cause death on a healthy consumer.

    the rest of the article is full of speculation and bad press.

    those symptoms are the core of panic attacks, who can have repercussions on psychologically ill subjects, or subject with acute cardiac disfunctions. weed would fit in the same profile, for example.
  3. Jasim
    Wow, it's amazing what all medical examiner's can tell these days. I wonder if this medical examiner can also tell which lottery tickets are winners or what color shirt I'll wear tomorrow. My guess is that this medical examiner can talk to the dead and that's how they know about the history of K2 use.

    No Kailey, cannabinoids are very well documented as being extremely safe. I will point out though that we still know very little about these research chemicals. It's possible that other pharmacological properties could be attributed to these synthetic cannabinoids, but I still think it's highly unlikely that the teen died as a result of only K2 use.
  4. rapax
    synthetic cannabinoid impact on health for the most parts means worrying about long term usage and possible cerginogenic metabolites. we not talking about acute organ toxicity or rapid organs failure that leads to DEATH.
    its obvius that -even if- (and im quite skeptical anyway) k2 killed him, it did so becouse or a pre-exhisting condition. swim doesnt like to be brutal, but if you meet the grim reaper becouse you smoke some k2 or some other synthetic cannabinoid, its obvius your body had something extremely wrong to begin with.
  5. Phenoxide
    I think it'd be best to wait for the full autopsy report to come out before we jump to the defense of these substances, or to demonize them.

    Does it seem likely that JWH-018 or other synthetic cannabinoids were the sole factor in this death? No. Is there a possibility that the smoking blend consumed was a contributing factor? Yes. Is there a possibility it was the sole factor? Also yes.

    There's several possible scenarios that could concievably involve the smoking blend:

    - A severe adverse immune reaction to something present in the blend (akin to a toxic shock syndrome, e.g. a cytokine storm)

    - An idiosyncratic adverse reaction to a cannabinoid, synth impurity, or other active substance that resulted in severe respiratory depression

    - A seizure induced by the active substances in this smoke blend resulted in the blockage of the airway and asphyxia. Smoke blend induced seizures have been previously reported.

    The details are too sketchy at this point to know for sure what happened here. Until we know more I don't think we can rule out a drug-related fatality. While the risk of death from synthetic cannabinoids seems to be very low on the population level, it's possible that certain people are at risk of adverse reactions. This is not necessarily due to a pre-existing condition, nor is it necessarily predictable.

    I'd be grateful if someone in Texas could keep track of this case and let us know how it develops. It's sad that a man has lost his life long before his time, but we must be attentive to the possibility that there may be something to be learned from this case that will protect others.
  6. Balzafire
    His name has been added to my google alerts page in order to keep this story updated.
    I live in Texas and you can guarentee I will keep you up to date on everything political, the toxicology outcome, and if the report proves the teenager did not die from the compounds in the blend and they do not amend the report stating the true reason of death I will contact my local editor to re-write a story on how other news groups point blame at a so far-safe product and how our legal rights are being again tested and taken from us. First Marijuana, and now this.... soon I guess having spices in your cabinet will be banned?

    Thank you for your education, your statement, and the value of what you stated! I completely agree, and as my dog uses these types of products all day every day with no problems so far this dog may consider quitting usage of this type of product should the outcome be true in that K2 was the cause. We are all very skeptical, but it only takes the one weak link in the chain to break and we all fall! If like you said this is to be true it is great information to know for all of the critters who use this type of product already, and this persons death will not be in vain.
  9. bill_214
    Cities in Texas and suburbs all around the Dallas area have passed bans of various types recently ranging from limiting sales to minors to outright bans.

    Dallas itself has passed an outright ban with up to a 2,000.00 fine a couple of days ago that will take effect this Sunday. (it's amazing how quickly politicians can pass something when there's a hysteria)

    The Texas legislature is expected to take up the issue of a statewide ban sometime in 2011.

    All this legislative activity seems to be generated by overhyped rumors of teenagers going to emergency rooms because of K-2 use (and similar products containing JWH-018) and this death investigation has just added to it, accelerating bans that will be hard or impossible to reverse due to ginned up bias against synthetic cannabinoids with virtually no evidence by the media and those that are previously biased against natural forms.

    Unfortunately it appears that Texas will end up going with an outright ban, given the political climate and the controlling party in Texas unless cooler heads find a way to overcome the negative media coverage.

    Indeed, the local politicos don't seem to need any negative press regarding K-2 and other blends containing synthetic cannabinoids, being predisposed toward hysteria to begin with and their actions are what's generating most of the negative press regarding JWH-018 and similar substances.

    Never mind that most of the legitimate science seems to suggest that cannibinoids both natural and synthetic are extremely unlikely to have played a role in this death or emergency room visits by frightened users that rush to the ER.

    With the average ER wait time being over 4 hours in TX it seems likely that most people that panic and run to the ER are well past the peak of the experience and perhaps the "treatment" they receive in the ER is simply observation and a valium or an ativan.

    Considering JWH-018 and blends containing it have been available since the '90s and there have been no documented deaths it seems unlikly this death can be tied to it's use... but that won't matter to the politicians.
  10. Terrapinzflyer
    Can you point to some info to back that up? I have seen uncomfirmed reports that "spice" went on sale in 2002. The patent on JWH-018 I believe is from 2007 (though this likely means it was created some years earlier), and the first post here at DF on synthetic cannabinoids traces to mid 2007.

    and certainly these substances have not seen widespread human use until the past couple of years.
    fk I posted a huge post but it contained a link all that work for nothing!

    The kid was witnessed taking a xanx and PCP prior to death along with smoking K2!
    Also funny how he's 19yrs old, and yet for media they say "teen" when in fact the individual is at adulthood since over the age of 18!

    Fkng dirty liars!
  13. Terrapinzflyer
    ^^ nineteen = so yes, still a teen.
  14. EscapeDummy
    I agree with the sentiments in this topic - cannabinoids are generally safe, etc. But why would death from cannabinoids have to result from respiratory depression? Swim has read topics on this forum of users having their heart rates at 180 and even up to 220bpm from JWH blends, is it not possible that one dies from a heart attack/failure rather than respiratory depression?
  15. nibble
    JWH-018 and other similar cannabinoid receptor ligands were reported in documentation from John W. Huffman et al during the early nineties. Spice has been around since circa 2002 as far as I know. The original "Spice" brand products did not incorporate aminoalkylindoles like JWH-018, they were based around CP47,497 and related compounds.
  16. bill_214

    I've seen several articles that claim Huffman synthesized JWH-018 first in the 1990s with one claiming "early 1990s"... this does seem out-of-joint with the patent date of 2007 and I have no explanation for the seeming discrepancy.

    Remembering from some such articles JWH-018 was evidently available during the '90s although it seems that no one had thought to seek to incorporate it into plant material mixtures at that early date(s) but the article(s) I read claimed JWH-018 was available in crystalline form on some type of open market and being used in the '90s... I assume by early adopters rather than a more general population.

    Again, this does seem out or sync with the patent date so it's possible that the few references I encountered could have inaccurate dates and stem from the same inaccurate source, if indeed the dates are inaccurate.

    Other than the patent seemingly being issued in 2007 (which a quick google search seems to confirm) the dates don't seem too unreasonable, particularly in light of "Spice" being sold in 2002 and the patent evidently not being issued until 2007.

    If Huffman was in a university setting a scenario where others (particularly students) knew about his work and possibly synthesized it on their own seems possible, however I was only going by dates I'd read in those articles, which seemed surprising to me as well.

    It's probably unrelated, but in the early/mid '70s I recall a very few people telling me that they had used a "synthetic THC" that cause them to "trip" almost as if on LSD (which was plentiful in the area in a variety of forms) although the substance they had used could have been almost anything.

    Even at the 2002 date of "Spice" being available for retail it seems likely that if JWH-018 was anywhere near as dangerous as some are claiming there would be more than two dead people opponents could point to as examples. The only other US death (than the one being discussed) I could find a reference to was evidently a suicide and in both that one and the one in Dallas the evidence is far from being clear-cut.... and the toxicology from the Dallas death hasn't even been done yet, much less been made available.
  17. shivakiva2112
    The one thing I'd like to point out with respect to the domestically produced (that is, within the US) Spice-alikes is that they don't appear to have been produced in a very professional manner and that the consistency of dose from one 3 g bag to another seemed to vary quite a bit. Not to mention that in most cases the Spice-alikes were significantly more potent than the original Spice brand smoking blend. One of the products sold locally in pr0t0-man's area, known as Astral Blast, was notorious for being ridiculously potent.

    Methinks that an overdose death, while in any case unlikely, is certainly moreso when the manufacturers are employing procedures which do not give a strictly standardized dose per hit or dose per bag, not to mention the astounding and, in my opinion, inadvisable potency of some products.

    Sure, the LD50 for CB2 full agonists is probably pretty high (I would say it's also unknown), but that doesn't mean that the odd death won't result from a sufficiently high dose. And I bet this kid smoked at least the whole 3 g bag of K2.

    Pr0t0-man has heard an anecdotal report of a guy in Little Rock, Arkansas, smoking a 3g bag of Astral Blast (a Spice-alike smoking blend) all to himself and slipping into a 3-month coma from which he still has not recovered.
  18. rapax
    the idea that cannabinoid agonist can send a -healthy- legally aged, male into "coma" makes swim really skeptic. cb2 ligands are express poorly in the pulmonary area as far as swim knows, and thats why even full blown agonist would require the direct ingestion (you cant smoke that much, unless you have the pure chemical in powder form and decide to smoke 5 grams of a compound with a ridiculous high CB2 affinity) of an absurdly high amount of plant material. swim thinks the poor ferret would puke his guts out before absorbing enough cb2 agonist to even send him unconscius, even less so cause a cardiac arrest or respiratory depression.

    swim thinks that those synthetics do carry unknown risks still, specially regarding to certain metabolites that can/could be produced as by-products of smoking this stuff. but that cannabinoid can send an healthy person into a coma its unheard of in medical literature. swim will belive otherwise only if proven wrong by an official report of the comatose ferret.
  19. shivakiva2112
    I was incredulous as well. It seemed worth sharing at the least.
  20. red moultrie
    SWIM thinks that she has had about 2 experiences (out of, say, 100s) with synthetic cannabinoids that gave her pause afterward, and made her really wonder how she (or someone else) would have responded to the momentary trauma had she not such an extensive background dealing with such things. These were 7-10 mg doses, reached gradually and carefully.

    SWIM knows the terrain. Some kid in Dallas might not.

    Some kid in Dallas might also roll the whole bag into a J, thinking nothing of it, and might find that K2's producers do not carefully standardize their product.

    SWIM feels a 50mg bowl of 018 might kill her. So why not a big bag of K2? She could fall and hit her head, suffocate on her own vomit, she could have a heart attack. She could have a bad reaction with something benign. Maybe not poisoned, but dead.

    SWIM does not think JWH is harmless, even though she loves it.

    SWIM wants to remind SWIY all, too, that by being HERE, by reading and thinking about all this, SWIY are obviously smarter than the average psychonaut...SWIY doesn't think JWH is harmful because SWIY doesn't go doing crazy things with it.

    And that's why we love SWIY.
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