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Thoughts of a Smoker: Spice - A Cautionary Tale

Updated on July 2, 2012

Intro to Spice

"Spice" or K2, is synthetic cannabis that is, in many cases, much more potent than cannabis itself. Its legality has been challenged in the U.S. and many other countries, although it is available under the counter in many gas stations or herb shops across America. The packages are labeled as "herbal blends" and they all state, clearly for legal reasons, "Not For Human Consumption!" It is understood, by the producers and the buyers, that consumption is exactly what this is for. The ingredients of each brand of spice may differ but most contain one of the following synthetic cannabinoids: JWH-018, JWH-073, or HU-210. These are illegal as they are harmful to humans. This Hub does not condone the use of anything illegal and is purely anecdotal as to warn others of this harmful drug.

My Experience

I have smoked both marijuana and Spice, on several occasions, and would like to warn others of a bad experience, or "trip," I had on Spice. My friend and I both smoked a bowl of this Spice called "The Madhatter" in his bathroom one night. We used what's called a Gravity Bong in order to get the most smoke out of what we had. He inhaled from the bong then so did I. Before I could even put the bong back under the counter, I fell against the wall. Now, it is worthy to note, I've smoked and drank things much more potent than this, and I'm around 6'3 and 230 lbs, so I'm no lightweight. From the wall, and I don't remember this, I fell on the floor. On my hands and knees, I had the absolute worst trip of my life. It is difficult when explaining the experience I had that night, but I'll do my best to describe what happened.

I do not know how long I was on the bathroom floor, it might have been 30 minutes, it might have been 3 hours. I don't know. My friend said that I was speaking nonsense in a "demonic voice" but I don't remember that at all. I do remember what happened inside my own head, however. My consciousness was the only thing that existed, not me, Steven who is a human living on planet earth, just my consciousness. What it was doing was fighting for survival, trying to keep from shutting down due to the extreme pressure exerted on my brain. My friend, sitting next to me, told me repeatedly to "Chill, bro, chill." But that's not what I did.

I thought his voice was in my head and that it was trying to get me calm down and, if I did calm down, I would die. My brain went into overdrive, not knowing which voice to trust and just trying to live through the experience. When I finally did emerge from the panicked mental fog, I saw the world in cartoon view. After a time, I stood up very slowly and stumbled to bed, waking up with a horrible headache the next day.


I'm aware that my experience may be rare and that many other people might be enjoying this harmlessly every day. I can only give my personal experience, and staying away from these dangerous chemicals is well-advised. These are artificial and you never know what does of what chemical you are inhaling each time you use this evermore illegal substance.


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      Josh 4 years ago

      Hey Steve,

      Your experience with spice was much like mine. I used to smoke it before I was aware of its addictive nature and mental health risks. I first tried it in blunt form and the experience was just like marijuana. I enjoyed it with no negativity. Although, the high seemed to have a "chemical" characteristic to it that felt different than marijuana. The first time I smoked it from a bong I was at work as a cook at the time, me and my coworker went into the bathroom and packed a bong with a large amount of spice. This was the most potent brand the smoke shop sold. Anyway, I had smoked marijuana many times at that time so I figured I could handle a large bong rip. Man did I rip it. I took one of the biggest hits I have ever taken. After that I don't remember transitioning into the high but I do remember how it felt. I was submerged in a very dark, negative, intensely paranoid high. I felt at any moment something would go wrong. I then started feeling very weak, as if I was dehydrated or my body was lacking proper nutrients. I felt my heart was about to stop beating and if I didn't get water I was going to die. Moment later the drug was in full effect as I remember looking back at the bathroom door from the outside and thinking that death lied beyond the door. I thought that if I opened the door Hell would be on the other side. There was a climactic build up in my mind but as I finally opened the door and looked inside to find just the bathroom. At that point I began to come down but still felt very weak and unhealthy. I was stumbling around and kept thinking people were plotting on me. It was a very frightening experience and I have since quit all drugs because I can no longer enjoy heightened awareness because of my seemingly permanent paranoia.

      To those reading this, stay away from all synthetic drugs.

    • Steve Orion profile image

      Steve Orion 4 years ago from Tampa, Florida


      I'd take Danny's advice and do some research into the affects of these chemicals, as they are understudied and artificial.


      I doubt there is any science to the notion that a g-bong hits a person harder than any other method. The point is these chemicals are harmful!

    • profile image

      danny 4 years ago

      Lol, you're not supposed to hit it from a gravity bong because it makes you trip. Don't you research anything a little bit before you try it out? Spice out of a gravity bong makes everyone have a bad trip. Next time try a pipe.

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      Becca 4 years ago

      Idid the mad hatter, primo, insane teddy, tiger, white ghost, unspeakable, diablo, an much more. Not exactly proud but once u start it IS addicting. And i built a tolerance although my first two times i tripped harrrd.. Haha but i like it. Fun to do when ur in the woods or around nature.

    • Steve Orion profile image

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      It's interesting to note that, currently, there have been major crack-downs in the field of spice and other legal drugs. I saw a documentary and a couple news reports recently, so it's good to know it's becoming less and less of a threat, though still prevalent.

    • Steve Orion profile image

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Yep, artificial chemicals are not so beneficial when it comes to mental health!

    • profile image

      5 years ago


    • Steve Orion profile image

      Steve Orion 6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Thanks for the comment, in the U.S. it is marketed as "herbal incense." But the laws is cracking down on it more and more, so maybe its use will eventually vanish.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 6 years ago from London

      Wow, great hub! Well written and provides a useful message, Spice can mess you up! I didn't know how easy it is to get in the US either. The UK has stronger laws on such substances, but it is heard of that teens take it.

    • Steve Orion profile image

      Steve Orion 6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Thanks livelonger; criminalization of marijuana does drive other people to more dangerous alternatives. I'm glad I learned my lesson.

      Thanks TR for the compliment. Unfortunately, all you have to do at local gas stations here is ask for it and they can grab it from under the counter. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      ThomasRydder 6 years ago

      Kudos on speaking out against this harmful drug. A neighbor of mine was using it for a bit, and he also had a bad experience. He was getting it from a nearby service station, and thankfully, it has now been removed from their shelves. I'll kick THIS one up a point, for sure. :)TR

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow...thank you for sharing your experience. Ironically, the one that's illegal unless you have a medical license is much safer (and far more understood and studied) that the one that's legal in many states without any license.