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

  • Oren Wacht
  • Shoshana Melech-Shalom
  • Orli Grinstein-Cohen
Brief Report


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.


Synthetic cannabinoid New psychoactive substances Public health risks Drug distribution 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

The authors declare that the article is in compliance with the protection of all human and animal rights.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Emergency Medicine, Recanati School of for Community Health Professions, Faculty of Health SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Kupat Holim ClalitIsrael National Health ServicesBeer ShevaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Nursing, Recanati School of for Community Health Professions, Faculty of Health SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael

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