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Synthetic Cannabinoids

Cannabinoid chemicals are sprayed onto plant material and smoked to appear like marijuana.
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Synthetic Cathinones

Often known as “bath salts,” cathinones contain amphetamine-like stimulants that can be ingested orally, injected or snorted.
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What is Vapor?


Liquid forms of synthetic cannabinoids are ingested using a vapor pen or electronic cigarette that produces little to no odor.
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Synthetic drug facts

Synthetic drug facts

Synthetic drugs include any substance that aims to mimic the effects of illegal chemicals and may contain stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic properties.

What to look for

What to look for

Synthetic drug packaging can range from plastic tubes or bottles to brightly colored foil packets.

What to say

What to say

If you have concern that someone you know may be using synthetic drugs, it is important address the issue directly, with the individual’s best interest in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions


Get the answers to your synthetic drug related questions.

Synthetic Cannabinoid (yellow) and Cathinone (black) Exposure Calls

Hennepin Regional Poison Control Center, January 2010 – June 2014


Past-Year Use of Illicit Drugs by High School Seniors (percent)

  • Marijuana/Hashish 36.4%
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids 11.3%
  • Hallucinogens 4.8%
  • Salvia 4.4%
  • MDMA (Ecstasy) 3.8%
  • Cocaine 2.7%

Source: 2012 National Institute on Drug Abuse

In The News

Judge hands down harsh 1-year sentence to northern Minnesota man who sold synthetic marijuana
Minnesota City drug bustApril 2015 – A 54-year-old northern Minnesota man has been sentenced to a year in state prison for selling synthetic drugs. Kevin John Lecalire of Taconite was charged after the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office found more than three pounds of a type of synthetic marijuana known as “spice” at his home last year. [Full story]
Father of Dead Woodbury Teen Speaks About Drug Dangers
March 2014 – The father of a teen who died of a synthetic drug overdose last year spoke about the dangers of drugs as part of a community forum. Thomas Fitzgerald spoke at Woodbury High School Thursday night where his daughter, Tara, was a student. It’s part of a series of meetings at schools around Washington County to raise awareness. Last year there were 15 overdose deaths of people age 15 to 30 in the county. There are seven so far this year. Fitzgerald shared a message with parents. [Full story]
Fourth defendant sentenced in Woodbury teen's death
Fourth defendant sentenced in Woodbury teen deathMarch 2014 – Woodbury teenagers Brian Phillip Norlander and Tara Fitzgerald had known each other for several years and had developed, in his words, a “special” relationship. “I’ve never had a friend like her who I could confide in so deeply,” Norlander recalled Wednesday before being sentenced in Washington County District Court for selling Fitzgerald the synthetic drug that killed her. Fitzgerald told Norlander that she was planning to take the drug that weekend. Soon after she did, she began convulsing violently. “The outcome has been the most horrible thing that I could ever imagine,” Norlander told Judge John McBride at Wednesday’s sentencing in Stillwater. [Full story]

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