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Those five chemicals in fake pot banned by the DEA -- what are they?

March 03, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
(Katie Falkenberg / For the…)

Spice. K2. Blaze. Red X Dawn. The names for fake pot sound less alarming than the chemicals inside such products: JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497 and cannabicyclohexanol.

Those are the five chemicals on which the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has focused its attention this week, announcing a temporary ban on ingredients used to make synthetic marijuana. Or, rather, "herbal incense," as such products are usually called. (Parents, please. Don’t fall for that.)

The chemicals are all synthetic cannabinoids. And for an explainer, we defer to Abel Pharmboy over at ScienceBlogs. He wrote in an earlier post:

"The compound most commonly found in these products is a chemical first synthesized by the well-known Clemson University organic chemist, Prof John W Huffman: the eponymous JWH-018. Another compound, found in Spice products sold in Germany, is an analog of CP-47,497, a cannabinoid developed by Pfizer over 20 years ago."

The post is fascinating, with plenty of references to CB1 and CB2 receptors and, more important, a contextual prism through which to view the latest moves. He concludes with a reference to "God’s own herb," and he's not talking about the fake stuff.

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