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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

Synthetic drug dealer in Mankato deaths arrested in Chicago suburb
Mankato Dealer Arrested in ChicagoJuly 2014 – A man suspected of selling synthetic drugs linked to two deaths in Mankato, Minn. was arrested Monday morning in a Chicago suburb. Tyler Anthony Caputo, 21, of Mankato was one of 4 people arrested in March in connection with the deaths of 17-year-old Chloe Moses and 22-year-old Louis Folson. [Full story]
28 arrests for synthetic drugs in 30 hours
28 Arrests in St LouisJune 2014 – U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan had a different agenda when he called a news conference to announce the arrest of 28 people for manufacturing and selling synthetic drugs. He and others gathered at the federal court house in downtown St. Louis wanted to make sure moms and dads in the region not only knew these drugs were still being sold, but that they were being altered with toxic chemicals coming in from Asia in an attempt to avoid prosecution. [Full story with video]
Five teenagers charged with murder in Woodbury drug overdose
May 2014 – Five people, including three high school students, have been charged with murder in connection with the January death of a 17-year-old girl who ingested a synthetic drug she purchased from a high school classmate, prosecutors announced Wednesday. [Full Woodbury synthetic drug article]

Need more information? Resources are available.

Understand who you can talk to and where to find help in order to start the conversation.

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