In the UK, we are seeing a wave of reports of consumers going into Vape shops and being mis-sold unlabeled CBD E-liquid which in-fact contains no CBD but a extremely addictive and harmful substance known as Spice. Otherwise known as Synthetic cannabinoids, they’re a class of molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body. They are designer drugs that are commonly sprayed onto plant matter and are usually smoked, although since 2016 they have also been consumed in a concentrated liquid form in the US and UK.
What is Spice, otherwise nicknamed “zombie”? Spice is a mixture of herbs (shredded plant material) with man-made chemicals with mind-altering effects. Even though many consumers think of Spice as fake weed however this is far from the truth, even though cannabis and spice share many similar chemicals the effects of spice are very different and much stronger.
Spice has a far higher potential risk of abuse, mental health complications with no medical benefits. Spice sellers are known to lead people to believe that they product is natural and therefore harmless but that is in fact not true, their actual effects can be unpredictable and in some cases is can be severe or cause death.
Consumers who have taken spice have reported suffering from chest pains, seizures, memory loss, and severe withdrawal. Brands like kronic juice who mislead consumers to believe they are taking a legal dose of CBD have had many severe conditions arise.
In 2015 Kronic Juice hit the UK market leaving a big impact on many consumers lifestyle, the product was labeled as harmless e-liquid, they refused to disclose any ingredients referring only to a patent pending flavour enhancer. However, some laboratories tested the products to find it contained a strain of synthetic cannabis that was banned in 2016.
A ban on legal highs came into force in the UK in 2016 which made it a criminal offence for production, distribution, sale and supply of new psychoactive substances. This came into force when in 2015 legal highs were linked to more than 100 deaths in the uk and a rise in violence in prisons as spice become a popular drug for inmates. The UK government decided to make offenders who broke the law to face up to seven years in prison under the psychoactive substances Act.
Spice is being sold in many shops around the UK misleading consumers to think they are purchasing CBD, its being sold as flavoured e-liquid sold as 3000mg cbd e-liquid for a value of £20-50 however for many people in the CBD industry they will know that this is not feasible in comparison to the normal CBD pricing structure or manufacturing cost.
From a scientific standpoint, if a 10ml e-liquid bottle contained 3000mg of broad-spectrum CBD it would not be vapeable, if it was made with CBD isolate then it would crystallize over a period of time.
It is important that the cannabis industry tackle this issue head on, we can do this by ensuring that we educate consumers on how to source the right product, to ensure the products that they consume are lab tested and how to analyse the test results to ensure it meets the standard. The industry should also work with the UK government to ensure that the consumers are protected from such products.
What format is it being sold in?
Reports have shown that it sells for anywhere between £20-£50 for 10ml. It is wrong on so many level, first of all CBD with 3000mg in a 10ml bottle would not be vapeable, if it was made with isolate than it would certainly crystalise over a period of time, and if it was full spectrum it would be far to viscous to vape. The claimed 3000mg in a 10ml bottle would make it 30% CBD, most cbd e-liquids go to max 10%. The product is sometimes already diluted with flavour, however it can also be purchased unflavoured which will allow you to add it to your own e-liquid.
The effect of Spice?
Spice is extremely dangerous and addictive for some users. It has an even worse effect with people who already face mental health issues. They are a lot more vulnerable. The high feeling it gives usually last 10-20 mins, however, can last a lot longer depending on the usage.
Where is it being sold?
Being sold in vape shops across London, the suppliers off the vape shops have been cash in hand vape wholesale suppliers.
What customers should be looking out for?
A reputable CBD brand will never sell their product unlabeled, and cbd which is deemed to be safe would never be sold so secretly and made to get you high. CBD is non-psychoactive, so it is impossible to get high off it.