What are synthetic cannabinoids, that China banned recently?

The Chinese Government recently announced that it is to add the Synthetic Cannabinoids to the list of banned drugs in the country. This is being done to curb the trafficking and manufacturing of the drug.

In simple term, the Synthetic Cannabinoid is an artificially produced Cannabinoid. Cannabinoid is a compound found on Cannabis plant.

What are Synthetic Cannabinoids?

They are human made chemicals. They act on the same brain receptors as that of Marijuana. However, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says that their side effects are more severe than that of Marijuana.


They are a class of molecules that bind to the same receptors as that of the Cannabinoids of the Cannabis plant does.

They are designer drugs. A designer drug is a functional and structural analog of a controlled substance that is designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of the original drug. They are usually smoked or ingested as concentrated liquid in UK and US since 2016.

They are sold under common names such as Spice, K2, Synthetic Marijuana. They are sold under the label “Not for Human Consumption”.


It is the primary psychoactive compound of Cannabis. There are 113 different cannabinoids that exhibit varied effects.

Psychoactive Substances in China

The Psychoactive Substances are those that change the functions of nervous system and results in alterations in mood, perception, consciousness, behaviour and cognition.

The Chinese Government is to ban another eighteen new psychoactive substances.

According to the Chinese government, there are 1,047 different and new psychoactive substances that had appeared in 2020. Out of these, 450 were found in the last five years.


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