July 23, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information
There is a new craze going around America’s youth. It’s called K2 herbal incense. This unique blend of herbal ingredients is becoming very popular among today’s society. Before K2 incense was more of an underground ordeal however in the past 90 days it has grown rapid acknowledgment. It is technically sold as an incense that is meant to be burned without oral consumption. Word has gotten around though that when smoked, similar to the fashion of how people smoke marijuana, it offers the same or similar effects. Many people have actually labeled and coined this type of herb as ’synthetic marijuana’.
This term is quite becoming because that is pretty much exactly what it is. K2 incense by itself is just a variety of herbs including canavalia rosea, clematis vitalba, nelumbo nucifera and a few other botanical herbs that when smoked by themselves would produce no effect. Where K2 gets its added experience is in the synthetic chemical compound that it is sprayed with, JWH-018 which acts as a cannabinoid agonist at both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the human brain. It produces effects in humans very similar to those of THC itself, but with a longer duration of action. Addiction is very rare, as one test subject used JWH-018 for 8 months straight and withdrawal symptoms were fairly mild.
Although not federal regulated, senators and legislation in various states have tried to pass laws to criminalize the chemical compound or any herb sprayed with it. So far the only two states that have made it illegal to possess or traffic K2 incense are only Kentucky and Kansas. Other countries typically in Europe have also made it illegal. Many people however have voted to control the substance instead of criminalizing it. A majority of people do believe that criminalizing something like this wastes lawmakers time and produces unnecessary criminals in today’s society.
Many employers require drug testing for new and existing employees. To date, K2 does not show up on drug tests, but a testing method will no doubt become available if K2 is declared illegal nationwide. By then it may be too late for many young adults who test positive from frequent long-term use.