China issues total ban on synthetic cannabinoids

BEIJING (AP) — China says it will add all synthetic cannabinoids to its list of banned drugs, in what it described as a first in the world, to curb their manufacturing, trafficking and abuse. It is the second time that Chinese authorities have imposed a class-wide ban on a substance, after all fentanyl-related drugs were controlled in 2019. Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made chemicals that act on the same brain receptors as the main active ingredient in marijuana. However, U.S. health officials say they can be toxic and cause “serious side effects that are very different from those of marijuana.” The U.S. says China is a key source of synthetic drugs which are then shipped to users in the U.S.