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Synthetic Marijuana: Six Things You Should Know About Smoking JWH-018

  1. chillinwill
    Last week, we reported on a synthetic Cannabinoid compound called JWH-018, which is sold in herbal-incense blends at head shops around the Valley. Smoking this compound is said to have the same effect as smoking marijuana, which has led lawmakers in Kansas to seek a ban on the substance (check out this week's feature story about the substance and the proposed ban in our sister paper, Kansas City's Pitch Weekly).

    In the spirit of journalistic research, we smoked several brands of herbal incense over the course of a month leading up to the news short linked above. And while JWH-018 is still legal in Arizona, there are a few other things you should know about smoking it:

    1. Not all incense blends are created equal. There are dozens of herbal-incense blends containing JWH-018 on the market right now, and each one has slightly different herbal ingredients, ranging from damiana root and molasses to Siberian motherwort and honey. The herbal blend doesn't matter compared to the amount of JWH-018 in the blend, and while no brands list the exact amount of the compound in their incense, some herbal incense blends seem to be more potent than others. The strongest blends we tried were Serenity Now, Puff, and Spice.

    2. JWH-018 is more expensive than real pot. Most of the herbal-incense blends containing JWH-018 are sold in one-gram bags, for about $25 each. The street value for potent strains of marijuana ("chronic") is about $14 a gram.

    3. Herbal incense blends are harsh. These herbal aromatherapy blends with JWH-018 are not marketed as something to smoke, which might explain why they all taste like crap. But the effects on the throat and lungs are worse than the dirt-and-dung flavor. Granted, smoking anything is not good for one's respiratory system, but smoking herbal incense can make your throat burn and your lungs ache, hours after the last hit.

    4. JWH-018 does not mix well with alcohol. Most drugs don't mix well with alcohol, but having a glass or two of wine with JWH-018 can exacerbate hangovers and cause headaches at the base of the skull that last for hours.

    5. It doesn't give you "the munchies." While some smokers have reported getting extremely hungry after puffing JWH-018, others (us included) didn't have any urges to cram cupcakes into their faces. Marijuana's known for inducing the munchies, but JWH-018 doesn't seem to feed the need for Cheetos.

    6. The high last no more than 30 minutes. The effects of smoking JWH-018 don't last long -- probably an average of 10 minutes, or half an hour at best for the more potent herbal blends. It doesn't seem to take much more than a hit or two off a pipe to trigger JWH-018's heady high, but the feeling won't last beyond a single episode of South Park.

    By Niki D'Andrea
    February 19, 2010
    Phoenix New Times


  1. mc shuu
    Cool. I read the New Times article a couple of weeks ago. Just a matter of time I guess...
  2. Daturaa
    Doesn't seem like it's any better for you than pot. At least pot doesn't harm your lungs quite as much, and will last longer.
  3. BloodyMuffin
    1: Swim will attest to the strength of serenity now. it knocks you off your feet easy as shit. much stronger than the zohai he used to smoke.

    2: but you've got to smoke quite a bit less in terms of weight than pot for the same high if you buy a strong brand.

    4: swim begs to differ. a couple glasses of champagne with this brought on one of the better experiences swim has had with these blends.

    6: swim still has a high going for at least a full hour. of course this may be due to the fact that these people are taking 1 or 2 hits whereas swim takes about 7 or 8 hits. at those two levels you may as well be taking two entirely different drugs.
  4. AllNatural4Now
    Swim finds the exact opposite. jwh-018 gets swim very stoned for hours at a time and finds the munchies to be even worse than weed. This may be swims own chemistry though and maybe swim goes against the grain.
  5. Alfa
    It seems this article is based upon someones personal experience, not on the experience of many users. The experiences of our members clearly differ from whats stated in the article.
  6. Bunnintreez
    swims hates these herbal "weed"....gives me headaches....tastes like crap....swims just loves the taste of some good dank. not this man made crap
  7. Khariz
    SWIM loves K2 Summit. Swim is high for over an hour after only a small bowl, and the effects are so similar to bud that it's almost scary.

    SWIM loves K2.
  8. gonegrowin
    My canker sore agrees that it doesnt last as long. The damn sore finds itself getting very hungry on jwh blends, however. It also tells me that the high feels "cleaner/more clear" and does not make the sore sleepy afterwards like cannabis.
  9. mc shuu
    The importance of this article is to show that jwh is coming up from the undergound scene. jwh is now "widely popular". The DEA has already seized in shipments of K2. So is it true that jwh is illegal in the US unless FDA approved? of course all this here 'say....
  10. gonegrowin
    in my chinchillas experience, they can seize whatever the hell they want. Legality doesnt matter. They just quote some stupid shit from the "Patriot Act" which did a good job of secretly robbing many freedoms under a name that was agreeable for a lot of idiots. Oh its the patriot act, it must be good, because i love my country and im a patriot. What?

    ranting again, damnit.
  11. bubbly nubs
    Thats almost defiantly because of the herbs the chemical(s) are laced on. If swiy were to smoke the pure chemical or a home-made blend then I'm sure swiy wouldn't be saying that. Some of the best drugs are man made, look at LSD!
  12. BloodyMuffin
    to tell the truth, man made really means very little when it comes to chemicals. given enough time and enough variation in life forms, any chemical could end up being "natural". for instance take psilocybin. if swim remembers right it serves as a sort of neurotransmitter or chemical messenger. there's nothing necessarily special about it chemically; it just happens to be what the mushroom evolved to use, and it happens to have interesting effects on humans. theoretically an organism could evolve to use LSD in the same way. all that ultimately matters in terms of drug use is how a chemical affects humans. of course, without extreme amounts of species variation humans are unlikely to find a creature that uses LSD, but they are also as unlikely to find one that uses cyanide. its all just probability.

    the one thing that man made chemicals do have in their favor is that they can be engineered to a purpose and made to be better. unfortunately the technology for this is limited currently and thus people do as well as they can. when it comes to recreational drugs the funding isnt really there to try and improve on known substances or discover better ones. So, unlike with medicine, chemicals are more likely to have drawbacks or be imperfect.

    its possible that these chemicals really do give him a headache, but its not because they're man made. its because thats just how his body reacts to them. while it could be the material the drug is on that causes the headaches, don't be so quick to discount that someone may react differently than you do.
  13. Khariz
    He wasn't talking about the chemicals, bro. He said it's the herbs the chemicals are ON that is giving the headaches.
  14. BloodyMuffin
    yes... and if you read the conclusion of my post you'll see that i argued a different point in regards to that as well as discussing his assertion about man made chemicals. my point was an argument that it was not in fact the herbs, but i gave a bit of background evidence and thoughts on it beforehand. essentially i addressed his second point first in saying that man made chemicals aren't perfect to strengthen my argument that contrary to his assertion that it's the herbs causing the headaches, i believe it could easily be the drugs..
  15. mbarnes0
    This article was poorly researched by its creator. From all the responses and from SWIMs own experiences it seems that JWH-xxx, 0-18 in particular creates different effects for different people. There are probably many factors that could be the reason for the difference. It could be the body, the purity level, the source where it was obtained, the method of administration, what is smoked with it, the surrounding settings, an the list goes on.

    I don't give this article much credit.
  16. smokescreen
    This article is just plain wrong. SWIM always gets the munchies, and enjoys much more than a 30 min buzz. I agree about the price issue of the blends. SWIM finds that his own mix is of perfect potency.
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