Use of "Spice" and Other Synthetic Cannabinoids Among Young People In The US

"MTF first addressed the use of synthetic marijuana in its 2011 survey, by asking 12th graders about their use in the prior 12 months (which would have covered a considerable period of time prior to the drugs being scheduled). Annual prevalence was found to be 11.4%, making synthetic marijuana the second most widely used class of illicit drug after marijuana among 12th graders. Despite the DEA’s intervention, use among 12th graders remained unchanged in 2012 at 11.3%, which suggests either that compliance with the new scheduling has been limited or that producers of these products have succeeded in continuing to change their chemical formulas to avoid using the ingredients that have been scheduled. In 2012 for the first time 8th and 10th graders were asked about their use of synthetic marijuana; annual prevalence rates were 4.4% and 8.8%, respectively. Use in all 3 grades dropped in 2013, but the decline was significant only among 12th graders. The 2013 rates were 4.0%, 7.4%, and 7.9% for 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, respectively. Among 8th graders, this was the third highest category of illicit drug being used after marijuana and inhalants."


Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2014). Monitoring the Future national results on drug use: 1975-2013: Overview, Key Findings on Adolescent Drug Use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 13.