Synthetic cannabinoids versus natural marijuana—a comparison of expectations
An article entitled "Comparison of Outcome Expectancies for Synthetic Cannabinoids and Botanical Marijuana," from The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, studied the expected outcomes of both synthetic and natural marijuana.
186 adults who had previously used both synthetic and natural marijuana, as well as 181 who had previously used only botanical marijuana, were surveyed about their expected outcomes of using either type of cannabinoid. The results showed that the expected negative effects were significantly higher for synthetic marijuana than for natural marijuana across both categories of use history.
Despite the more commonly expected negative effects of synthetic cannabinoids, the most cited reasons for using these compounds were wider availability, avoiding a positive drug test, curiosity, perceived legality, and cost.
Authors concluded, "Given growing public acceptance of recreational and medical marijuana, coupled with negative perceptions and increasing regulation of synthetic cannabinoid compounds, botanical marijuana is likely to remain more available and more popular than synthetic cannabinoids."