Synthetic cannabinoids are a class of chemicals that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body, but that are different from the natural cannabinoids in cannabis plants. They are often marketed as designer drugs or sold in products with claims that they give the effects of cannabis. When these chemicals are sprayed or otherwise soaked into a plant or other base material the blend is sometimes misleadingly referred to as synthetic marijuana. These “synthetic marijuana” products are sold for recreational drug use.
There are several psychoactive artificial cannabinoid families (e.g. AM-xxx, HU-xxx, JWH-xxx, CP xx) that are sprayed onto plant matter that is then sold under brand names like K2 and Spice, both of which are now often used as generic terms for any synthetic cannabinoid product.