JWH-018, also called a ‘synthetic cannabinoid’, is an emerging drug of choice to replace the use of Marijuana. Since it provides the same effect or even better than Marijuana, most herbal smoke blends incorporate JWH-018 as part of the ingredients to achieve a better ‘high’ experience. Nevertheless, effects of JWH-018 still vary between individuals. Usually, novice smokers may undergo a much more profound “high” experience compared to regulars. A few users may or may not show the same signs and symptoms, however they may experience the same effect of JWH-018 in general.
Cognitive and Psychological Effects of Smoking JWH-018
JWH-018 mimics the mechanism of THC found in Marijuana, thus affecting the functions of the brain resulting to CNS depression. Since it binds itself to CB1 receptors dominantly found in the brain, expect to notice symptoms of alterations in the control of emotions, motivation, judgment, memory and learning. For smoking a regular dose of 3 to 5mg of JWH-018, its psychological effects include:
- heightened mood
- enhanced sense of humor
- heightened curiosity and intrigue
- racing thoughts
- time distortion and dilation
- buzzing or humming like a psychedelic experience
- reduced concentration
- relaxing state
- mild euphoria (phasing in between bouts)
- Manic-depressive (hyperactivity to moments of dullness and vice versa)
Same as its cognitive and psychological effects, physical effects are also predominantly, if not greater, the same for all users. JWH-018 causes the same Cannabis effects and actually confirmed through these following symptoms:
- bloodshot eyes and droopy eyelids (only noted to some users)
- tachycardia (increases heart rate)
- visual effects (colors appear more full and vibrant)
- heavy sinking feeling
- respiratory suppression
- controlled breathing
- gastrointestinal discomfort (rarely happens)
- possible heightened pleasurable sensitivity
It also renders some positive effects such as analgesia and anti-anxiety. But, these claims are doubtful up to this day due to lack of evidence from scientific researches. Therefore, the proposal for its medical application as a response to its therapeutic effect is still out-of-the-question.
Dangers of JWH-018
Although no cases of dying from JWH-018 known, smoking higher doses of JWH-018 might be quite dangerous. Reported scarier and harmful effects include short-term memory loss, extreme sedation that may lead to coma, euphoria, paranoia, anxiety, slight confusion and vomiting. It clearly creates shocking brain effects, even cause severe life-threatening hallucinations, and some seizures. Aside from that, the frightening physical effects in the cardiovascular system, such as increase heart rate and blood pressure, may pose a threat to the body of the user. Thus, ignoring such negative effects of JWH-018 is big no-no.
It is even more disturbing that JWH-018 may actually have a greater possibility for abuse. There was a case study about a man actually demonstrating withdrawal symptoms when he abstained himself from using JWH-018. He experienced tremors, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, bouts of headaches, insomnia and palpitations and even seemed restless with unclear thoughts.
With all the commotions going on about JWH-018, especially its negative effects to the body, the issue remains at a standstill. There are already quite a number of reports proliferating in the Internet and even reached the ears of lawmakers, however the information remain as speculations. Since no clinical evidences and thorough scientific studies to back these claims, it is obvious that it will just become another rumor. Hence, hearsay or not, using something without knowledge about its possible harmful effects is still just plain ignorance.