Synthetic Cannabis Use in Israel: “Nice or Bad Guy—Spice”

Oren Wacht, Shoshana Melech-Shalom, Orli Grinstein-Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


An alarming increase in the use/abuse of synthetic psychoactive substances known as “designer drugs” or “legal highs” (“Nice Guy” in Israel) has caused the governments of many countries including the USA to pass legislation banning the sale, possession, and use of specific synthetic cathinones and cannabinoids. “New psychoactive substances” (NPS) pose a public health risk. Early research on synthetic cannabinoids done in the 1980s and 1990s describes benign outcomes. Research in vivo in animals supported the positive influence of synthetic cannabinoids as an antiemetic used to prevent vomiting and nausea. However, reports of emergency departments evidence the toxicity and side effects of synthetic cannabinoids. This situation calls for policy, law enforcement, and medical intervention to address this growing problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-873
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Drug distribution
  • New psychoactive substances
  • Public health risks
  • Synthetic cannabinoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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