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Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Stuff [Full link to blog for email clients.][FT:C44]

Guest Blogging Courtesy of K. Mata - the Goddess of Lab Rats!

This blog has commented before about medical marijuana and medicinal cannabinoids.  Here's an article about what it's creator calls "A Good Drug Gone Bad." The link is to a story in the LA Times about the creator of JWH compounds, major ingredients of 'spice' and other synthetic marijuana products sold until recently in gas stations as incense.   It should be stressed that the scientist creator did not distribute this drug.  The formula was lifted from the lab and form publications.  It is manufactured and sold from China as "plant food."

I've included the first few paragraphs below...,0,2646834.story

Scientist's research produces a dangerous high

John W. Huffman created synthetic marijuana for tests on lab animals. His formulas ended up in the hands of head shops, which have created substances that can lead to seizures, hallucinations and convulsions.

September 28, 2011, 3:46 p.m.
Reporting from Sylva, N.C.—

John W. Huffman is a bearded, elfin man, a professor of organic chemistry who runs model trains in his basement and tinkers with antique cars. At 79, he walks a bit unsteadily after a couple of nasty falls.

Relaxing on his back porch in the Nantahala National Forest, watching hummingbirds flit across his rose beds, Huffman looks every bit the wise, venerable academic in repose.

But this courtly scientist unwittingly contributed to the spread of "designer marijuana" so potent that the Drug Enforcement Administration has declared some of what he created illegal.

Huffman's years of scientific research at Clemson University on the interaction between drugs and brain receptors led to so-called fake marijuana with effects far more powerful — and dangerous — than garden-variety marijuana. "Spice," "K-2," "Skunk" and similar products made using the chemical compounds he formulated have surged in popularity in recent years.

That prompted the Drug Enforcement Administration in March to temporarily list "stealth marijuana" products containing three cannabinoid compounds invented by Huffman as Schedule 1 drugs illegal to sell or possess.

Some interviewers and critics have blamed Huffman for turning an entire generation onto "monster weed."

"It's become a royal pain in the rear end," Huffman said the other day, reflecting on the unwelcome attention his research has received. "I had a TV station in Moscow accuse me of trying to poison America's youth."

In that interview, live on Russian radio, he said, his responses seemed slow because of a satellite delay — so slow that the questioner accused him of smoking his own creations.

In a separate conversation, a BBC interviewer "basically asked me when I stopped beating my wife," he said. "They accused me of creating all these horrible drugs."

But Huffman laughs as he describes emails assuming he has created a super form of medical marijuana or has profited by designing lucrative marijuana substitutes. "We were not. It was all just basic science," he said. To counter misinformation, he and Clemson have devised a boilerplate statement describing his research and warning against consuming synthetic marijuana.

That hasn't stopped alert entrepreneurs from using Huffman's formulas, published in scientific journals. Their products, often sold as "herbal incense" and smoked like traditional marijuana, can produce seizures, hallucinations, tremors, paranoia, convulsions, high blood pressure and rapid heart rate, say emergency room doctors.

Poison control centers have received 4,500 calls over the last two years from people using fake marijuana, according to the American Assn. of Poison Control Centers.

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