There is always the notion that the youth of today are always several steps ahead of the older generation. That statement can further be verified by the arrival of K2 to the national forefront. K2 is a brand of herbal and chemical products, which mimic the effects of cannabis or in other words “marijuana.” The product was first believed to have achieved the effect through the use of legal herbs. However, it has since been discovered that the drug contains synthetic cannabinoids, which act in a similar fashion to the natural substance. K2 is being sold as a legal incense at several cigarette shops, and gas stations around the area. It is being labeled as an “incense” and has become a popular marijuana alternative throughout the nation, especially amongst teenagers and college students.

K2 was developed by John W. Huffman of Clemson University in 1993. The intent of the experiment was to find pharmaceutical products that were similar to THC, the active ingredient of marijuana. However, he was not the one to decide to turn the substance into a drug nor was he the one to decide to distribute it commercially. While the drug has been around since the early 90s, it did not start showing up in stores until late last year. It has been outlawed in six states, and six other states are in the process of trying to make the product illegal. The U.S. Marines Corp have asked that stores near its bases not sell it. Marines who use the drug can be punished up to two years in the brig with the possibility of dishonorable discharge. There are several possible side effects that one might experience from using K2 such as increased blood pressure, rise in heart rate, and unpredictable effects on mood. Poison Centers have reported around 500 cases in 35 states since being notified of the drug. It has been listed as a drug of concern by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Several stores in close proximity to college campuses around the Triangle Area carry the drug, which retails for around $20 to $40 a gram. It can also be found for sale on the internet and is said to be much stronger than marijuana. The flavors for the product range from: Standard, Spice, Blueberry, Blonde, and Funky Monkey.

One of the main concerns in regards to the product is the fact that there is really no regulation on it. This means that a 10-year-old child legally could buy the drug with no problem at all. Also with it being fairly new to the general public, there has not been much scientific research performed to know whether or not the substance is truly dangerous. While people who want to get high can smoke it freely, they really don’t know if the drug will have any side effects, which may become an issue later in life. Until someone says that this drug is truly harmful it will continue to be an issue. Students around the world are finding different ways to get high each and every day. The fact that people can smoke this freely without being arrested or fined increases the popularity. It is highly unlikely that K2 will be disappearing from the world anytime soon.