Hard News by Russell Brown


Synthetic cannabinoids: a primer

What is synthetic cannabis? Why is it even called that? Where does it come from? What's the extent of the problem in New Zealand? And why have we seen a spate of deaths linked to these products in Auckland?

The New Zealand Drug Foundation asked me to write a backgrounder addressing these and other questions, which is now available on its website.

I learned a bit researching it and was even surprised by some of what I learned. Notably, the extent to which the recent spate of acute presentations is an Auckland, not a national problem.

I can say with some confidence that it's not about fly spray or weed killer or  any other impurity in the street products – it's more likely about dose.

Anyway, have a read and if you have any further questions I can try and answer those too.

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