Earlier this year, in the summer, multiple individuals were spotted near a subway station in Brooklyn, New York, exhibiting zombie-like behavior. The incident was captured on camera by an onlooker and posted online. The people have been described as unresponsive to commands, staring aimlessly into the distance, and unable to keep their balance.
A team of researchers has taken it upon itself to identify the cause of the zombie outbreak that occurred in July 2016. Currently, there are roughly 200 types of synthetic marijuana on the market. However, the one responsible for the aforementioned behavior goes by the street name of K2 or AK-47 24 Karat Gold.
Researchers say that the compound discovered in K2 is 85 times more potent than the active agent found in marijuana, THC. While the mass intoxication stated above is troubling, there are other types of synthetic marijuana that could lead to more serious health complications. The list contains symptoms such as organ malfunction, seizures, and even death, in some cases.
The general misconception that led to the mass intoxication is that people cannot overdose on marijuana. However, in the process of increasing its psychotic potential, synthetic marijuana buds are infused with a specific chemical. Nevertheless, the process is oftentimes wrongfully performed, which leads to misdosing.
Researchers link misdosing with the mass intoxication from earlier this year. At the time, 33 people were diagnosed with marijuana overdose. Nevertheless, in an effort to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future, scientists invested time and resources into identifying the main ingredient in the synthetic marijuana that caused the zombification.
AMB-FUBINACA has been identified as the synthetic agent responsible for the Brooklyn incident. However, it is still unclear as to why the drug had such a tremendous effect. Some researchers link the zombie-like behavior of the affected people with exaggerated dosage in the synthetic product’s packets.
Also, the researchers had a hard time identifying the compound at first, as the drug testing methods require commercial references. Hence, seeing that synthetic marijuana floods the market with a different chemical composition every time, the scientists could not use the standard method. However, they developed synthetic compounds themselves, that are likely to be present in the upcoming types of synthetic marijuana, and that is how AMB-FUBINACA was discovered.
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