Prohibited cannabinoids on the European market
Every year the number of new psychoactive substances appear in the world. Most of them are caused by synthetic cannabinoids, which seriously violate the psychotic condition of people. They are distributed on the black market through online stores, as the herbal smoking mixtures. This type of drugs raises a number of mental and somatic disorders at the peak of intoxication.
Over the past 5–7 years, synthetic cannabinoids (SCB) have been widely distributed. In most European countries, these groups of narcotic substances occupy a leading position among the causes of urgent hospitalization. Therefore, the issue of distribution of CSB causes a serious concern of the states and societies. What has been done to prevent it?
The emergence of Spices
The emergence of new smoking herbal products with the addition of synthetic cannabinoids can be considered as a new development in the field of designer drugs. In many countries, where so-called “Spices” and similar substances are available, they have become a significant problem. Over the past 10 years, state measures to control smoking mixtures have been actively developed and implemented in Austria, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Estonia and are under consideration in other EU member states.
The problem of distribution
A distinctive difference of the “Spice” from drugs is that they are sold through the Internet or a network of specialized stores. However, such an open marketing mechanism did not entail a procedure for the goods withdrawal and its criminalization.
The scandalous study of German researchers over JWH-018 in the composition of the spice caused a great resonance both among those who like to smoke a legal semi-drugs and among authorities, who react very quickly. In particular, according to the decree of the Austrian Ministry of Health, from December 18, 2008, distribution and smoking of spice was forbidden in the country. The same measures were implemented in Switzerland.
The scandalous research
On December 15, 2008, a pharmaceutical company from Frankfurt published the results of an analytical study of the most popular psychoactive smoke mixes: Spice Gold, Spice Diamond, Chillin XXX, ZoHai SX Hydro and Yucatan Fire. In the analyzed samples of smoking mixtures, chemists found synthetic cannabinoid JWH-018.
On July 10, 2014, the European Court adopted the amendments proposed by the German government, stating that “herbal mixtures for smoking” are no longer considered as chemicals, but are referred to narcotic.
How Europe responds
Today, in most European countries, the annual change of the List of Prohibited Narcotic Substances is legally defined. On December 2014, EMCDDA banned 42 new synthetic cannabinoids from those already found in herbal mixtures. Here are some of them:
- Napthoylindole (Group of JWH substances);
- Cyclohexylphenole (Group of CP substances);
- Indazol derivatives (AKB, AB, ADB groups);
- Phenylacetylindole (Group of JWH and RCS substances);
- Cyclopropanoylindole (UR, A components);
- Benzoylindole (AM Group), etc.
The new generation of synthetic cannabinoids quickly conquers the criminal market, the newly created substances are not amenable to the usual methods of laboratory diagnosis and do not leave traces in the body. Despite the need for substantial improvement of legislation in this area, the first steps have already been done.