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Sugar and Spice - Our Rehabilitation Centre discusses Synthetic Marijuana

If you have not already heard of the drug called “Spice” you can count yourself lucky as it may very easily go down in history as one of the most terrifying drugs ever made.

This laboratory manufactured chemical was accidentally discovered while looking for a different method to produce anti-inflammatory medication.

The approach used was to synthesize the compounds found in the Cannabis Plant called Cannabinoids which were designed to attach to many receptors in the body; mainly those found in different parts of the brain.

Although “Spice” is sold under the pretence that it is a fake form of dagga and is therefore legal and safe, it is everything to the contrary and those who use it may very well find themselves in a drug rehabilitation centre.

Spice - Rehabilitation Centre South Africa

Photo credit - Vice

How is it made?

The combination of chemicals produced to mimic the effects of Marijuana is sprayed onto a mixture of plant matter such as herbs and spices. However, the effects are a far cry from that of the Cannabis plant. 

There are over 700 different research chemicals used to produce this synthetic cannabis making the effects extremely unpredictable and dangerous. 

The idea that Spice is a legal form of Cannabis combined with the fact that it is sold in many shops may contribute to the desire to experiment with this drug.

Is it safe?

No! Spice is very far from safe to use.

Although people, young and old, are always curious to try new things or may even be looking for an outlet from their unfortunate situations, experimenting may open the door to long term substance abuse.

Experimentation with drugs like Spice is not encouraged. And the reality is, experimentation can lead to addiction which will then lead to many more problems in all spheres of life including socio-economic, personal and interpersonal skills as well as relationships with loved ones.

Each person who uses Spice reacts very differently; some have a very mild euphoric experience and others have no side effects at all. However, majority of its users have horrifying side effects such as severe psychosis that may last for a few hours. There have even been reported cases of death.

Side Effects


  • Seizures/convulsions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hallucinations
  • Detachment from reality
  • Aggression
  • Extreme psychosis
  • Increase in blood pressure/heart palpitations
  • Speech impairment
  • Vomiting
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Severe paranoia/anxiety
  • Self-harm


Are there any long-term effects?

Although these side effects may not encourage users to use Spice again, there is a very powerful physical dependency that takes place.

This causes intense withdrawal symptoms such as sleep disturbances, irritability and anxiety; making this drug highly addictive.

There are many long term psychological effects that can take place even after stopping the use of Spice. These effects include:


  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoid thoughts
  • Memory impairment
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of motivation
  • Suicidal ideation


Seeking help – Step Away Rehabilitation Centre South Africa

If you or a loved one is in need of help, you are not alone.

Step Away is a rehab centre in South Africa that provides affordable rehabilitation through different methods of therapy.

For more information about our addiction treatment or facilities, please contact us.

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