On this page you will find:
- Basic info about synthetic cannabinoids
- Other names for it
- What it looks like
- How it’s used
Synthetic cannabinoids (AKA legal weed, legal, legal cannabis, synthetic cannabis) are chemicals that mimic the effects of cannabis. They are added to plant material and sold as ‘herbal’ mixtures that look a little like dried, compressed cannabis leaf.
We know ‘synthetic cannabinoid’ is a bit of a mouthful, and ‘legal’ is much easier to say and write, but we can’t call them ‘legal’ on our website – because they aren’t, really (see the Synthetic Cannabinoids and the law page for more detailed information).
So, this page calls it what it is – ‘synthetic cannabinoids’ – but we’ll say SC for short.
SCs are considered to be drugs because, when taken into the body, they change how you feel, think or behave. A drug is any substance that, when taken into the body, does this. When the way a person feels, think and behaves has been changed by taking SCs, the altered state is called a ‘buzz’, being ‘stoned’ or being ‘high.’
How you see, understand and think about the world around you is called your ‘perception.’ Drugs that change your perception of what is going on around you are called ‘hallucinogens.’ SCs are hallucinogens. A hallucination is the effect you get when your perception of reality has been changed. Hallucinations can range in strength from very mild to very strong. Hallucinations common when using SCs are a feeling that things around you are fuzzy or blurred, or that sounds are a bit echoey, or that time is going a bit slower. Nothing has changed; people and things are exactly the way they were before you got stoned. The SCs have changed your perception of reality.
Other names for it
These change all the time. Currently, we are seeing Happy Joker, Voodoo Gold, Annihilation Volume 2, Clockwork Reloaded, and several others! Happy Joker is popular at the moment with young people we work with.
Factsheets about synthetic cannabinoids (‘legal weed’)
Choices short film on synthetic cannabinoids (‘legal weed’)