During the past decade, as a backlash to the U.S. government’s “War on Drugs,” people started seeking out more and more “legal highs” – mind-altering substances with which government watchdogs had not yet caught up. Websites selling such substances sprung up in the new millennium, making these cheap drugs very easy to find until Congress, in July of 2012, passed a law making a number of these synthetic drugs illegal throughout the nation.One such now-banned substance is known as “Black Mamba” or “Black Mamba Spice.” Not unlike the ultra-venomous snake of central and southern Africa, this substance can inflict quite a bite.
Legal Sale of Black Mamba Spice
Still sold as incense or “herbal mixtures” on the net, Black Mamba Spice is actually a combination of Damiana and various synthetic cannabinoids, the latter being the man-made ingredient, chemically derived form of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana.Read about other designer drugs with names like Synthetic Cannabis (Marijuana), Spice, K2, and others.
Damiana is a completely natural shrub found in parts of the southern U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America . Indigenous tribes have long used the leaves of the damiana plant as a relaxant, often taken in the form of a tea infusion (Drugs.com). Early Spanish settlers also recorded the plant’s use as an aphrodisiac, and testing on rats has determined that the plant’s sexually stimulating effects are real. Early use of damiana in the U.S. is documented in the ingredients of Pemberton’s French Wine Coca, the beverage precursor of today’s Coca Cola.
The state of Louisiana has listed damiana as a “prohibited plant,” most likely due to Black Mamba Spice’s recent popularity and the ill effects it has on those who are smoking it.Because we cannot be entirely sure where the effects of smoking damiana end and those of synthetic cannabinoids begin (levels of the synthetic substance also differ with each batch) let’s address the effects of Black Mamba as a whole.
Effects of Black Mamba Spice
Anecdotal accounts of Black Mamba Spice use are prevalent. Most prominently featured in these accounts is a sense of general euphoria, “lightness,” and a marijuana-like effect, though some stories betray effects that are far more sinister. Aggression, paranoia, hallucinations, catatonic states, and psychotic breaks have all been reported since this drug came on the scene around 2006.
Even more profound are the drug’s effects on the autonomic nervous system with short-term rapid heartbeat and hypertension widely documented. Indeed, there have been over 4,500 calls related to Black Mamba side effects since 2010 according to The American Association of Poison Control Centers (About).
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