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Marijuana legalization continues to spread nationwide, despite concerns by adolescent drug rehabilitation centers and others that this process is posing a serious danger to younger drug users. Now, a new danger has surfaced in the form of liquid marijuana, a synthetic substance that has sent many users to the hospital due to its potentially lethal side effects. This latest form of synthetic marijuana is concerning on a number of levels, which is why parents and teens need to be aware of what liquid marijuana is and just how harmful it can be.

Related: Teen Marijuana Abuse Treatment

What is Liquid Marijuana?
Synthetic marijuana has come onto the market in recent years as manufacturers have been able to skirt around the law to get this product to convenience stores and online retailers. The products are sold as “incense” or other household products, “not for human consumption.” However, those looking for a fast, intense high know exactly what to do with products dubbed K2 and Spice, with a variety of ways to consume the product.

Liquid marijuana is a colorless, odorless form of synthetic marijuana. The liquid is usually sold in cartridges or small bottles, labeled with names like “Cloud Nine” and marketed as incense. The substance was specifically designed to be used in “vape pens,” a type of e-cigarette that teens are using more and more to inhale flavored vapors and some drugs.

Higher Concentrations mean Greater Risks
Like other forms of synthetic marijuana, the greatest danger in liquid pot may be in the increased concentration of the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. While marijuana leaves contain around 20 percent THC, synthetic forms may contain anywhere from 50-90 percent THC. Because the products are unregulated it is impossible to know the precise concentration in any dose. It is also unknown whether there are other potentially dangerous chemicals or substances in the mix.

The higher THC concentration largely counters the arguments from marijuana advocates that the drug is “safe.” While marijuana leaves are dangerous enough, synthetic substances greatly increase the risk of severe side effects, overdose and death. In addition, the higher concentrations of THC can make synthetic marijuana much more addictive.

Hiding the Drug in Vape Pens
Another major concern with the increasing popularity of liquid marijuana is the ability to smoke this substance undetected. Vape pens are commonly used for liquid marijuana. Because the liquid is both colorless and odorless, it is impossible to distinguish this substance from other liquids used in the devices. Liquid marijuana can even be combined with other substances like flavored liquids that further mask the possible signs substance while smoking.

Social media is filled with posts from teens across the country that have bragged about using drugs in vape pens in their bedrooms and even in classrooms. Parents and teachers are unaware of what the substances are inside and even if they were suspicious, it is likely laboratory tests would be required to accurately identify the substances used in these devices.

Liquid marijuana is one more way pot is becoming a more lethal substance in our world today. If you or someone you know is struggling with marijuana abuse or dependency, it is time to seek help from an adolescent drug rehabilitation center. Contact Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers at 866-889-3665 today to get the help you need.