In remarking Sunday on coverage of the synthetic marijuana products in The New York Times, I totally missed that a more detailed article appeared the day before in The Washington Post.
With contributions from Aaron C. Davis, the article by writer Michael W. Savage provided an insight into Spice use in Adams Morgan and around the District. The second page of the online article goes into much more detail than the NYT article by addressing the pros and cons of state approaches to outlaw the compounds and products.
Savage also included commentary by Marilyn Huestis, chief of chemistry and drug metabolism at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and focused in on a problem we discussed Sunday, namely, that the content of active components in the synthetic products and dosing with the pure compound(s) can vary wildly and account for reports of safe use vs. those of intense anxiety, cardiac disturbances, and seizures.
Savage quotes Dr. Huestis:
“These different, synthetic compounds are up to 100 times more potent than THC and have not been tested on humans,” she said. “When people take it, they don’t know how much they’re taking or what it is they’re taking.”
It’s a really nice overview and it won’t take you terribly long to read it.
As more states move toward regulating JWH-018, related compounds, and incense products that contain one or more of the compounds, we will be seeing more of these kinds of articles in the legacy media.
By the way, if you are looking for more science writing, check out Carl Zimmer’s fantastic article, How Microbes Defend and Define Us, in today’s NYT Science Times section on the microbes that live in our bodies and how “fecal transplants” have proven effective in treating infectious diseases – I kid you not.