Fresh concerns over 'legal highs'

By chillinwill · Dec 1, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Concerns have been raised about the mood-altering effects of the herbal drug Spice, a so-called "legal high".

    Spice products boast cannabis-like effects and are widely available online.
    But not enough is known about the toxicity of them and what effects they have on the human body, according to a team of international researchers who carried out a study on the subject.

    Spice is a brand name for a herbal mix widely sold as an incense or legal substitute for cannabis.

    Different varieties have names such as Spice Diamond, Spice Gold, Spice Silver, 2Spicy and Spice of Life - and according to users produce subtly different effects.

    Professor Fabrizio Schifano from the University of Hertfordshire's School of Pharmacy said: "Our study has identified a number of websites offering both information and purchase opportunities.

    "Our concern is that very little is known about both human metabolism and toxicity of these compounds. We plan to use this study... to raise awareness among health professionals that the world wide web is a new resource for the drug and therefore more information is needed about its effects."

    Prof Fabrizio was a lead author of what is billed as the first multilingual review of Spice, to be published this month under the title Psychoactive Drug or Mystical Incense?

    The study assessed the information available on Spice products across about 200 websites in eight different languages.

    It found while Spice products appealed to online customers due to their cannabis-like effects, legal status, lack of detection in biological samples and ease of online access, typical product descriptions did not mention the strong synthetic properties that are thought to account for the psychoactive or hallucinogenic effects of Spice and similar herbal blends.

    December 1, 2009

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  1. Alfa
    Can anyone find that study?
  2. Synchronium
    The guy's actual name appears to be Fabrizio Schifano from the University of Hertfordshire. A search of pubmed for any combination of his name, the current year, spice & cannabinoids yeilds no results.

    Looks like the study hasn't been published yet.
  3. pinksox
    Well, there's a PowerPoint presentation of his lecture here:


    You'll be glad to know he reads here and has included screenshot of such within. However, I don't see an Empirical data to back his assertions up. So far it would seem to be just his opinion. Anyone who goes spouting such tripe off with no peer-reviewed publications to back it up loses credibility in my book. However, his "opinion" coupled with the title and the attention he seems to be receiving will be enough to scare the masses into probably unwarranted hysterics.
  4. Alfa
    Thats not the study mentioned, but its related. The psychonaut project has done a series of legal high / internet studies.
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