In April 2011, North Carolina passed SL 2011-12, banning synthetic cannabinoids under Schedule VI of the state's controlled substances law. The law takes effect as of June 1st, 2011.
The substance, known as "spice" or "K2," is a cannabinoids, a class of drug that includes THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
First synthesized in an academic chemistry lab in South Carolina for pharmaceutical research, it moved on to be a plant-growing aid in Asia and then a substitute for marijuana in Europe.
It is often marketed as "herbal incense", however some brands market their products as "herbal smoking blends". In either case the products are usually smoked by users. Although synthetic cannabis does not produce positive results in drug tests for cannabis, it is possible to detect its metabolites in human urine. The synthetic cannabinoids contained in synthetic cannabis products have been made illegal in many European countries. On November 24, 2010, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency announced it would make five synthetic cannabinoids Schedule I drugs within a month using emergency powers. Prior to the announcement, several US states had already made them illegal under state law.