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Whatever’s in Synthetic Marijuana, It’s the Opposite of Chill

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Diane Thomason
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Yesterday in Brooklyn, 33 people from a single neighborhood wound up in the hospital after smoking synthetic marijuana.

Those afflicted could barely hold themselves up.

Another problem: The people using them usually have no idea what they re actually smoking, so figuring out the right dose can be difficult—and dangerous.

Synthetic marijuana has its origins in the early 1990s, when a Clemson University chemist named John Huffman synthesized a group of chemicals that interacted with cellular mechanisms in the same way as the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

He was trying to help other researchers figure out how the brain worked.

Specifically, the network of neural receptors activated by cannabinoids like THC.

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Diane Thomason
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