Barbados Issues Alert For 2 New Lab-Made Cannabis Vaping Drugs That Can Kill You.

Photo credit: Matrix. Synthetic forms of cannabis, or substances similar to cannabis can have a similar effect but be hard to detect. Plant material can be imbued with the substance making it impossible to know how strong the effect might be.
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The Forensic Sciences Centre (FSC) of Barbados has confirmed the presence of two New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in Barbados that are of great public health concern. Barbados has issued an Early Warning System (EWS) Alert for these forms of synthetic cannabis.

Director of the FSC, Cheryl Corbin, has identified the two NPSs as Synthetic Cannabinoids (SCs) MDMB-4en-PINACA and 4F-MDMB-BUTICA.

While addressing a press briefing today at the Eastern Caribbean Camp, Ruby, St. Philip, Ms. Corbin reported that on August 3, the FSC received an unknown substance in the form of “plant material that was cut up” from the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) for testing and analysis.

The matter was tested three different times via “GCMs (gas chromatograph) microscopy and using international controlled databases” and tested positive for MDMB-4en-PINACA and 4-Fluoro-MDMB-BUTICA, two synthetic Cannabinoids (two chemicals listed as new psychotropic substances (NPS) detected by GC-MS using SWGDRUG library.

“The information was relayed to NCSA, and our recommendation was that the FSC remains on high alert for any further submissions or queries of these NPSs and also that we share the information with the members of the EWS, which was done. It prompted this situation that we’re in now for the issuance of the alert,” the Director reported.

She went on to explain that SCs are substances synthesised in laboratories that mimic the biological effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana or cannabis.

“The problem with this new psychoactive substance is that it is excessively potent. You have no idea of knowing how much you’re using…and one use of it can kill you. Seriously, it can kill you. We know how adventurous some people are, but I reiterate, it can kill you,” the Director emphasised.

Ms. Corbin noted that odourless MDMB-4en-PINACA and 4F-MDMB-BUTICA substances are synthetic cannabinoids that have been encountered on the designer drug market and have been found laced on plant material and marketed under the guise of herbal incense products including oils used for Electronic Smoking Devices (vaping).

She continued: “The SCs have no accepted medicinal use at all…. They are purely only smoked for their psychoactive effects…. Emergency departments have been presented with symptoms from persons, which include seizures, sudden collapse, involuntary muscle spasms, catatonia and increased violence. Multiple deaths have been reported in various places.” Click the link for more information on the two Synthetic Cannabinoids (SCs) MDMB-4en-PINACA and 4F-MDMB-BUTICA.

Synthetic cannabis is often used to bypass positive drug-testing results. Spice, a form of synthetic cannabis, is becoming the drug of choice in many prisons in the UK.

Some reports have suggested that usage is as high as 85 per cent, and prison officers are finding it impossible to control because, unlike cannabis, it has no aroma. To make matters worse, drug detection kits that are currently used by prison officers are failing to detect it. It is also seven times more likely to result in hospitalisation than cannabis.

Spice is thought to pose greater health risks that cannabis. The Guardian newspaper investigated the growing problem and spoke to users. One user explained their experience of taking spice: “It looks a bit like weed, definitely, but it don’t taste like weed. This thing is different, seriously, it knocks you back. This is not weed, this is something more devilish than weed; this is something more dangerous than weed.”

Unlike cannabis, spice is not grown and harvested; it is chemically engineered in a laboratory. Spice is not a new drug though; it has been around for at least five years already.

In many countries the drug has been banned; however, as it is a synthetic chemical manufacturers are becoming adept at altering the ingredients just enough to avoid detection. Some countries have banned the main chemicals that are used in its manufacture, such as JWH-018 and THJ-018, which are the chemicals responsible for providing a feeling of euphoria that is very similar to marijuana.

Sources: Barbados Government Information Service,


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