The ‘legal’ psychoactive designer drug is derived of natural herbs sprayed with synthetic chemicals that, when smoked, allegedly mimic the pleasurable effects of marijuna. According to this article, experts say it’s very addictive and – when excessively used – may cause sleep and weight loss as well as kidney and brain disorders. But scientific studies that confirm this have not been conducted yet. In addition, research has suggested an association between synthetic cannabinoids (the chemical compounds Spice consists of) and psychosis.
Out of concern about the effects, Russian drug enforcement agencies have banned a number of its chemical ingredients. The producers, however, can easily adjust the recipe of the substance using chemicals which are still legal. In this way, they are still able to come up with new brands, which are advertised online and widely sold across Russia.
Lindigkeit, R; Boehme, A; Eiserloh, I; Luebbecke, M; Wiggermann, M; Ernst, L; Beuerle, T (2009). Spice: A never-ending story? Forensic Science International , 191 (1) DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.06.008