A new product is becoming popular among many looking for a legal high with far fewer issues but according to officials the risk may not be worth it. Sold under names like Black Mamba, Spice, Bliss, and Bombay Blue (mostly damiana a shrub with small, yellow flowers that grows in dry, rocky climates generally found in Mexico, California and Texas smells much like sage or an herbal tea blend. ) offer a milder high and doesn’t show up on drug tests but little is known about what side effects can come as a result of its use. The product is sold as incense and carries a label stating it’s not for human consumption but its smoked or used as a tea and is widely found in tobacco stores, adult gift shops, and in some locations at convenient stores as well.
“We don’t know very much about it,” said Brock Alder, director of the substance abuse division of Bear River Health Department. “That’s the problem, we don’t know what’s in it. Apparently it has some kind of synthetic marijuana in it. People need to be very careful. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s safe, doesn’t mean it’s OK.”
The herb has a reputation as a relaxant and an aphrodisiac which affects the nervous system as an antidepressant to soothe anxiety, nervousness and mild depression. With the label stating it’s not for human consumption, no regulations are in place and no ingredient list is required of what’s in the product. The cost ranges from $17-$24 for a gram and with it being widely available there are enough people using it in several demographics that some evaluation should be done soon to evade side effects for its use.