So spice is a type of herbal product that was popularized in Europe in the late 90's or early 2000's. Essentially because of marijuana or cannabis is so interesting from a pharmacological standpoint, all these laboratories started developing compounds that could mimic the effects of the naturally occurring compounds in cannabis or marijuana. And essentially they need to get stronger and stronger potency ones to bind to the receptors in stronger and stronger fashion to do tests and studies in a more accelerated fashion.
As is done in research laboratories. So one the laboratory of John Huffman American scientist. His group was experimenting with different compounds. Completely different structures to the naturally occurring compounds in cannabis. But they all ended up having activity at this one receptor in the human body. So to make a long story short, that molecule somehow leaped out of the laboratories that compound, and people started putting that super strong compound into herbal blends in Europe. It was where it first appeared. Sometimes it goes by the name spice or K2. It's maybe about five to one hundred times more potent at the cannabinoid receptor than tetra-hyrdo-cannbinol or THC which is one of the naturally occurring strong compounds in marijuana.
Now people purchase this and use it to get some experience of an alteration of consciousness which is a normal behavior in humans to want to change their mind state. But these compounds are very new, they're synthetic, they're designer, they haven't been tested very much on humans. There's lots of reports of psychotic reactions because it's extremely potent. It turns out naturally occurring cannabis, those cannabinoids like THC aren't that strongly binding to the receptor. They're actually called partial agonists. And these are full agonists and they can have very strong effects. So it is a fake marijuana in the sense that it's not really cannabis or marijuana that we're talking about. It's a synthetic super synthetic cannabinoids that have been sprayed onto herbal blends that people smoke. The United States government has made these extremely popular by banning them. Which they recently, the DEA emergency scheduled them into the most restrictive class in the federal drug laws. And of course when you do something like that you make it very, very interesting as a forbidden fruit.
So the gentleman who invented this first compound, John Huffman, so that you know if people want to change their consciousness, they should stick to marijuana.