SHELBY COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Synthetic marijuana is a big problem in Shelby county according to their drug task force.
It's marketed to look like candy, but it can be deadly. It goes by many names: synthetic marijuana, spice, K2, and potpourri. But the reason it's so popular: you can pass a drug test while high on it.
That's because synthetic marijuana has nothing to do with actual marijuana. It has no connection to the cannabis plant and has no traces of THC.
The high people get on it can be deadly. That's because it's not regulated, so one dose could be stronger than another, causing users to just lose control of their bodies. Videos on YouTube of people getting high on spice can be disturbing.
It was thought to be a "safer" alternative for drug users. The plant is grown in South Asia and comes to America for the sole purpose of being used as potpourri. But drug dealers get their hands on it and spray it with a chemical-and that's what causes the high.
"Some of the ingredients in these sprays mirror, very similarly, that which you would find in a regular can of over the counter bug spray. So if you would imagine taking a can of raid and turning it upside down and spraying it into your mouth, that's essentially, and that's an extreme example, but essentially it's along the same lines as doing that," says Captain Clay Hammac with the Shelby County Drug Task Force.
Shelby county drug task force just made a bust where they found up to 10 pounds of the stuff. Officials say it's most popular with students and that parents need to talk with their children about the potentially deadly side effects.