Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Synthetic cannabinoids: a primer

9 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    Whoa. And just as I post this: a wave in Rotorua.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22148 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The missing part to this seems to be the suppliers / importers - how much is local gangs and how much is overseas gangs, also there are bound to be 'reputable' people involved in this chain if past drug connections are anything to go on - because money.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7410 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Very helpful, thank you, Russell.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1442 posts Report Reply

  • Ray Gilbert,

    I noted a couple of days ago that RNZ has begun referring to synthetic drugs not synthetic cannabis. Which is not entirely accurate but a start I guess. The fact that the CB receptors were identified initially by their ability to bind THC doesn't make all agonists THC analogues after all. We haven't seen the widespread problems with Fentanyl in the US blamed on synthetic opium.

    Since Nov 2006 • 93 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ray Gilbert,

    I noted a couple of days ago that RNZ has begun referring to synthetic drugs not synthetic cannabis. Which is not entirely accurate but a start I guess.

    Sorta. "Synthetic drugs" bugs me a bit too, though – it's a somewhat meaningless term.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22148 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The missing part to this seems to be the suppliers / importers – how much is local gangs and how much is overseas gangs, also there are bound to be ‘reputable’ people involved in this chain if past drug connections are anything to go on – because money.

    A good question that would take a lot more digging and a few sources to answer properly.

    But my guess is that the chemicals come in in two ways. In smaller quantities via the postal system, perhaps via "dark web" intermediaries, and in larger quantities like any other drug. I know that Customs has made seizures.

    And, again guessing, I suspect it's not as organised as the meth trade, where Asian gangs are definitely involved, internationally. I've heard of one South Auckland kiddy-gang doing it, but the people busted in the recent raid in Point Chev were in their 50s and 60s. Maybe the kind of high-rollers who launder their money via Sky City are involved, but they don't seem to have turned up yet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22148 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Worth remembering also that we are all different genetically. Almost every person on the planet will respond differently to these compounds. From differences in the actual receptor being targeted to differences in the way the liver will detoxify the compounds.

    In most cases the differences will be slight and academic but it's also possible that some folks will react very differently to exactly the same compound and dose.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4320 posts Report Reply

  • Boletus Edulis, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Why is it that the term "synthetic drugs" bugs you? From a chemistry perspective, I don't think "synthetic" is really meaningless. In the context of drugs I have always taken it to refer to drugs that have been synthesised from precursors through a series of chemical reactions rather than one that is a natural product or extracted from a natural product without modification. As such, there will be different concerns regarding the quality of the manufacturing process (e.g. has it been purified properly to remove unreacted precursors and solvents and dose issues become harder to manage the more concentrated the product).

    Since Aug 2017 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Boletus Edulis,

    It’s not if it’s synthetic or not that’s meaningless. It’s like saying ’drugs and alcohol’ can be problematic. We know what alcohol is and that it’s dangerous in the wrong hands, but it’s unclear what ‘drugs’ really are. We know it’s illegal drugs the grownups are talking about; the range could be drugs that make you a bit unreliable for an hour or two, drugs that might make you crazy, drugs where overdose death is common and drugs that whilst being illegal, also have therapeutic value in the right circumstances. Not all ‘drugs’ are the same, abviosly, yet the grown ups refuse to communicate that clearly. And that’s not good for the kids.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3768 posts Report Reply

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