"Herbal incense": Designer drug blends as cannabimimetics and their assessment by drug discrimination and other in vivo bioassays

  • Järbe T
  • Gifford R
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Abstract

Recently, synthetic cannabinoids originally designed for testing in the laboratory only have found use recreationally in designer herbal blends, originally called "Spice". The myriad of compounds found are for the most part potent full agonists of the cannabinoid receptor 1, producing effects similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and marijuana. Drug discrimination of these compounds offers a specific behavioral test that can help determine whether these new synthetic compounds share a similar "subjective high" with the effects of marijuana/THC. By utilization of drug discrimination and other behavioral techniques, a better understanding of these new "designer" cannabinoids may be reached to assist in treating both the acute and chronic effects of these drugs. The paper provides a brief exposé of modern cannabinoid research as a backdrop to the recreational use of designer herbal blend cannabimimetics. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bioassays
  • Drug discrimination
  • Synthetic marijuana
  • THC

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Authors

  • Torbjörn U C Järbe

  • Roger S. Gifford

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