“I tried all the other kinds, Purple Dragon, K2, but Mr. Nice Guy is the only thing that made me trip, like literally. I fell,” said 21 year-old Andrew Begeot.
The legal form of marijuana goes by many names, all variations of which were created to please those looking for an alternative to the drug. Some have picked it up to avoid violation of the restrictions of their probation and others say it’ll get you higher, quicker, than marijuana does.
Not all strains of the synthetic compound produce the same effects. There has been talk of dizziness, vomiting, hallucinations, but mostly smokers just feel good on the stuff. They suffer from the same hungry, happy, and sleepy compulsions that the real deal produces.
But unlike previous experiences with Spice or K2, on Mr. Nice Guy: Relaxinol, Begeot saw the world skip a beat, then he blacked out.
“The whole world was fake, like it kept repeating itself over and over. My uncle came in [the room] and said something to me, but after that I don’t remember anything. I woke up around midnight and rinsed my mouth out, and my teeth were all broken,” said Begeot.
Friend Tylor Strachan, 18, kept smoking long after both his friends Begeot and Cody Moxley, 17, stopped, but he didn’t feel any of the symptoms that plagued Begeot.
This happened on May 16, and all three of them still smoke synthetic blends, to this day. You won’t catch Begeot with another pack of Relaxinol, of course.
A synthetic alternative to the THC (tetrahyrdocannibinol) found in cannabis was originally manufactured to treat MS and chemotherapy patients.
Mr. Nice Guy may not have the same chemical compound that the prescriptions for the oral spray Sativex and the pill Marinol have, but all three forms of the drug contain the most basic cannabinoid needed to procure that feeling of calm that doctors and smokers, alike, aim for.
The chemical, JWH-018, found in both of these products is currently banned from production and sales in 14 states, but Florida legislation has yet to make a decision on the matter.
As long as the prohibition of the drug focuses on a specific strain of the chemical, more and more variations will arise, without actually solving the problems these drugs induce.
Regardless of which state you live in, consumers can buy the spray online, which is used to make the locally-bought herbs easier to work with. You just lay them out on a baking sheet, soak them with the synthetic THC spray, let the tray bake in the oven for 10 minutes or so, and voila! Anyone can concoct a legal high in the leisure of their own home.
A new chemical, JWH-073, became readily available in Germany, in late 2009, soon after JWH-018 was banned in January of the same year. Each produces about the same effects as the other, but it really depends on the person who consumes it to prove an ultimate testament to the results.
Strachan has been smoking for months and now wonders if his recent stomach pains are related to the drug.
“Sometimes I throw up after I eat, I don’t know if that’s what it’s from, though.” He said his symptoms only started after he began smoking Spice on a regular basis. The mother of a friend of his also mentioned that her son couldn’t keep his food down for long periods of time because he had been consuming so much of the synthetic compound.
In the U.S., there are several products on the market that contain the canniboid that provides these “desired” effects. They go by names like Spice, K2, Barely Legal, Mr. Nice Guy, Purple Dragon—the list goes on. In Florida, each can be obtained quickly and legally, without the hassle of scrambling phone numbers or Facebook friends for the pot dealer nearest you. The shelves of gas stations and convenience stores the state over are lined with these products passed off as “potpourri” and “incense.”
The words, “Not for human consumption,” are printed distinctly on the front of the packages of these substances, but the fact that it is sold right alongside the other tobacco pipes and rolling papers is no indication that the contents are actually being used to freshen up the home environment.
The dangers of smoking these mixtures of various synthetic herbs can have varying effects, as it turns out. Consumers are reported to experience a decrease in their level of anxiety and depression when taking the drug, but some have also said they have suffered severe consequences within minutes of consumption.
Despite the toxic state of affairs, the FDA has warranted the use of this drug as permissible as long as it doesn’t contain the real extract of THC.
Dylan T. Anderson serves as contributing writer to this article.