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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

Dangerous 'n-bomb' drug circulating in Minnesota schools, causing alert
N bomb drug in Minnesota schoolsNovember 2014 – Officials with the Lakeville School District are warning parents and students about the presence of a synthetic drug among students that has already proven to be fatal for one Minnesota teenager. The drug, technically known as 25i-NBOMe, is a synthetic hallucinogen with properties similar to LSD – but “much more potent,” according to Lakeville Police Chief Jeffrey Long. [Full story]
Federal authorities single out North Dakota investigation into synthetic drug deaths of teens
North Dakota drug caseOctober 2014 – The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday honored law enforcement officials who investigated and prosecuted the region’s first large-scale synthetic drug case following the overdose deaths of two Grand Forks-area teenagers. The synthetic drug case involved 15 defendants, all of whom were convicted. The investigation began after Christian Bjerk, 18, of Grand Forks, and Elijah Stai, 17, of Park Rapids, Minnesota, died within a week of each other in June 2012 after ingesting the hallucinogens. Three other young people were hospitalized. [Full story]
Second adult pleads guilty in overdose death of Woodbury teenager
September 2014 – A 19-year-old man from St. Cloud acknowledged quietly in court Monday that his drug dealing was responsible for the overdose death of a promising Woodbury High School honor student last winter. Alexander Lee Claussen pleaded guilty in Washington County District Court in Stillwater to third-degree murder for selling a synthetic drug, marketed as LSD, that killed 17-year-old Tara Fitzgerald on Jan. 11, just hours after she took it. Claussen is the second of five teenagers who prosecutors say were part of a county drug-dealing chain to plead guilty in the case. [Full story]

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