Synthetic Incense and Bath Salts


Under Missouri House Bill 641 (which went into affect in August 2011), any drug that is created, marketed or sold to mimic the effects of an illicit drug is illegal.

Package labels feature psychedelic art and claim that the contents are a mixture of various herbs. But unlike smoking the herbs listed on the label, smoking the products produces effects similar to those of marijuana, hashish, and other forms of cannabis. Like THC, the active ingredient in marijuana and other forms of cannabis, these synthetic cannabinoids turn on the cannabinoid receptors found on many cells in the body. The brain is particularly rich in the CB1 cannabinoid receptor.

Most of these drugs were created because they bind much more tightly to the body’s cannabinoid receptors than THC does. THC, in fact, only partially binds to these important regulators of body function. Many of the synthetic cannabinoids fully activate the receptors. This “hijacks” the part of the brain important for many functions: temperature control, food intake, perception, memory, and problem solving.

And here’s another alarming thing that isn’t known. Tests show that even the same brand of one of these products may have different drugs — in different amounts — at different times.  Since the synthetic cannabinoids are very powerful, even a small increase in dose can have much more powerful side effects. Since these products are not regulated drugs, there’s no way to know how big a dose you’re getting.

 What is SPICE?

It is marketed as an incense blend and “not for human consumption”. Because this product has a label that states it is “not for human consumption”, there are no age requirements for people who attempt to buy this. Spice is also known as Genie, Ultra,Summit, Blonde, Yucatan Gold, Bombay Blue, and Black Mamba. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration has labeled Spice as a “drug of concern”. This year alone the U.S. Poison Centers have received an influx of calls  in regards to synthetic marijuana products.

What are BATH SALTS?

A new synthetic drug known as “bath salts” can cause severe side effects including paranoia and hallucinations that sometimes turn violent. These are dangerous drugs that should not be confused with any type of common bath product. The drug has been compared to cocaine and methamphetamine because of its addictive characteristics. Many of the products sold under names such as “Cloud Nine,” “Ivory Wave” and “Blue Silk” contain methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV, which is a chemical not approved for medical use in theUnited States. Another common chemical found in this drug is mephedrone. Packages containing the powdery substance are typically labeled “not for human consumption” and marketed as “bath salts” or as plant food or insect repellent. Users mostly snort the drug, similar to cocaine. However, it is versatile and can be injected, smoked, or even eaten.

The key is change! It is important to watch for any significant changes in your child’s physical
appearance, attitude or behavior.

Physical Signs:
• Loss or increase in appetite, any changes in eating habits, unexplained weight loss or gain.
• Slowed or staggered walk, poor physical coordination.
• Inability to sleep, awake at unusual times, unusual laziness.
• Red watery eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual.
• Cold sweaty palms.
• Puffy face, blushing or paleness.
• Smell of substance on breath, body or clothes.
• Extreme hyperactivity; excessive talkativeness.
• Runny nose, hacking cough.
• Needle marks on lower arm, leg or bottom of feet.
• Nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating.
• Tremors or shakes of hands, feet or head.
• Irregular heartbeat.

Behavioral Signs:
• Change in attitude/personality with no cause.
• Changes in friends, new hangouts, sudden avoidance of the old crowd.
• Changes in hobbies or activities.
• Drop in grades at school or performance at work
• Change in habits at home.
• Difficulty in paying attention.
• General lack of motivation.
• Sudden oversensitivity, temper tantrums, resentful behavior
• Moodiness
• Silliness
• Paranoia
• Excessive need for privacy
• Secretive or suspicious behavior
• Unexplained need for money
• Chronic dishonesty


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