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20 years

Costa Rican authorities warn of danger of bath salts, “incense” used as drugs

Bath Salts

November 30th, 2012 ( Incenses labeled with names like “Purple Haze” or “K2” and bath salts with names such as “Vanilla Sky” or “Ivory Wave” can cause serious health problems. Their effect is much stronger than marijuana, according to an announcement made by the Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS).


The information revealed by the CCSS also states that according to an article published by Doctor Carlos Quesada, in the Magazine for Clinics of the University of Costa Rica and the San Juan de Dios Hospital, these can be purchased easily and without restriction on the Internet, since they are classified as incense or personal care products. The truth is, however, that they are made with dangerous synthetic chemicals.


Cases of intoxication have been described as causing hallucinations and psychosis.


In addition to bath salts, products sold as incense but intended to mimic marijuana are also a concern.


Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active ingredient in marijuana, and causes an intoxicated state with moderate euphoria, minor changes in the psychomotor and cognitive state. In some cases, it may cause anxiety, panic, paranoia, hallucinations and tachycardia.


But unlike marijuana, the chemical components of the synthetic marijuana sold as incense do not come from Cannabis Sativa (marjhuana), but are rather synthetized in laboratories and formulated to interact with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system (produced naturally in the body by humans and animals); as a result the effects of intoxication are much more intense and cause dependency.


Both the bath salts, as well as the incenses are inhaled, smoked, or taken orally.


So far, authorities say there have been no incidents related to bath salts or the synthetic incenses in Costa Rica yet.  They are concerned, however, because the products can be easily purchased online and can enter the country with practically no regulation.

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