Where to get Noids?/Where to buy Noids?

The answer to this question used to be much simpler. In the past, synthetic cannabinoids, often sold as noids, spice, K2 and C-liquid were sold at gas stations, head shops, and online regularly in the USA, Canada, and the EU. Now with the recent Chinese cannabinoid ban and Western governments beginning to run a propaganda campaign and clamping down on synthetic cannabinoids, we see these products drying up.

The COVID-19 pandemic induced a cannabis shortage, which has already driven a spike in synthetic cannabis use in Europe.* What will happen when the shortage caused by the Chinese ban on synthetic cannabinoids causes the supply of the safer, more well-known synthetic cannabinoids to run out?

Cannabinoid shops’ supplies are already beginning to run low as the hunt for new suppliers continues. Many of them fear this shortage is going to push cannabinoid users into new and more dangerous drugs that may cause more harm to those dependent on them than the ban had any hope of solving.

Synthetic cannabinoids are often utilized by their users to experience a longer and more consistent high than the high provided by cannabis flowers. This recent ban has the potential to cause these stimulation-seeking users to move on to new or older classes of drugs like the cathinones, phenmetrazines and other novel psychoactive stimulants, commonly called research chemicals by their users and distributors.

Noids are commonly sold as herbal incense and by other pseudonyms such as Kronic vape juice, Spice, K2 and Fake Pot in an attempt to maintain that they are sold for purposes other than human consumption.

The cathinone class, for the same reason, commonly sold as Bath Salts are one such class that has a similar user base and might be exploited again to fill the void created by the Chinese ban of synthetic cannabinoids. Given the cannabis shortage caused an increase in how often other herbs sold as cannabis would contain synthetic cannabinoids, it seems likely Spice, K2 and other noids now run the risk of containing unknown cathinones due to suppliers running out of noids and continuing to need to meet market demand.

The name cathinone comes from the plant the original cathinone was extracted from, Catha edulis/Khat, a common herb in Islamic East Africa and the Middle East used for its mild stimulation properties like chewing tobacco or coca leaf in the Americas. This is similar to Ephedra/Ephedrine’s relationship with Ephedra/Ephedrine, the plant more commonly known as Mormon Tea and used for similar purposes of mild stimulation to aid productivity and fight sleep deprivation.

On the spiritual side, these stimulants are used in a similar way to Sufi’s infamous use of coffee to sustain their all-night prayer rituals. These stimulants help the individual continue beyond the point of bodily and mental fatigue to keep soldiering through whatever it is they are committed to doing. On the less spiritual side, we see these drugs used to help boost productivity, particularly with unfulfilling and tedious jobs using a large amount of concentration and physical effort over a long time, often with split shifts, multiple jobs, or other barriers to sleep further cementing the relationship with stimulants and performance for the individuals using them.

Now, as the safer alternatives like the JWH series of noids become less and less available, it becomes more tempting for sellers to use noids with higher potency because of the lack of source materials for making new noids. The JWH series was one series of relatively safe cannabinoids that would have benefitted from some regulation but instead were banned, driving the entire market into the unregulated black market more than 10 years ago.

If the packaging accurately reflects this change in potency, the danger should be minimal, as only those who misread the label or ignore it will be at risk of overdose. When the label accurately reflects what drug is contained in the vape juice or other preparation, this risk is effectively controlled. When it is mislabelled, however, it creates a risk for the user. This is most likely to happen when the drug changes hands multiple times before reaching the end-user.

However, in the downstream end of this market, it is common for the sellers to be unaware of the differences in potency, as they don’t have full knowledge of their supply channels. This creates an extreme risk of a high potency noid being labelled as a weaker one, resulting in a potential overdose for the user. Knowing your supplier and being able to trust their labels is key, buying closer to the source is one way to reduce this risk rather than from street-level dealers.

With the current noid supply shortage caused by the Chinese ban, almost all European research chemical websites have dropped noids for now or have limited supply. Those few that still have them have told their customers that this is their last batch and when it runs out it’s the end of their supply.

When even these more potent noids begin to run out, which appears likely from the current state of the market, then users are pushed into other drugs such as the phenmetrazine or cathinone class. Cathinones include methcathinone, the cathinone equivalent of methamphetamine, and Alpha-PVP, Hexen, 3MMC (roughly equivalent to MDMA) and others. The phenmetrazines are most well known for 3-Fluorophenmetrazine, which is frequently referred to as a less euphoric version of methamphetamine that was discovered in 2011.*[1] Methcathinone was first noticed in LA by law enforcement in the 1990s and had a recipe infamously promoted in Uncle Fester’s Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture written in 1985. Methcathinone is effectively an oxidized form of cathinone and is structurally similar to methamphetamine and is considered a less euphoric version of methamphetamine. Frequently sold as M-Cat, Cat, Jeff, Mulka among others.

Doses for methcathinone range from around 40mg compared to JWH-210’s 7-10mg. This can result in users taking repeat doses before the effects of the previous dose kicked in, especially if they were expecting the classic JWH-210 high and instead tried to chase this feeling while using methcathinone. While the risk of overdose is not as severe as when the potency is stronger for the mislabelled drug rather than what appears on the label being more potent, even this type of confusion can present a dangerous situation to naive users.

However, if this mislabelling were to occur with say JWH-251, with its active dose around 3mg* being replaced by JWH-210’s 7-10mg active dose, the potential for an accidental overdose rises exponentially. It will be those with the least power to access higher-quality drugs who will be hit the hardest by these bans, the working poor and teens too young and thus, often more ignorant of the dangers due to the drug war propaganda preventing harm reduction conversations, to know better.

Cathinone’s had their wave of DEA-fuelled media hysteria back around 2012 when the infamous “Bath Salts Cannibal”* ate and maimed Ronald Poppo in Miami. After executing the unarmed African-American “cannibal,” the police officer was eager for something to back up his narrative of an unstoppable beast-man and chose bath salts as his scapegoat. Despite the wave of media propaganda on behalf of the DEA blaming Bath Salts and cathinone for the cannibalism,* there was never any evidence that the “cannibal” had ever consumed cathinone and a clean toxicology screen from his arrest showed no cathinones in his system.* Expect this type of media hysteria to ramp up on synthetic cannabinoids when the DEA ever turns its attention towards a noid crisis of their own making. Their previous move to ban noids in the USA caused the shift to Chinese producers in the first place, and now, the media and international diplomatic pressure on China is causing them to reactively clamp down on noid production in mainland China to curb their reputation as a drug-producing nation.

Now we face the aftermath of this double ban as the existing supply begins to dry up. Retailers of noids are already beginning to search for new suppliers in India and other countries to help fill the gap, but this means a reliance on untested partners and a large disruption to the marketplace. We can predict noid users being scapegoated as the government fuelled shortage causes a shift to other classes of drugs with a wave of hopefully non-fatal overdoses and poison control centre calls. The best way to avoid this problem is to petition your member of parliament/congress or other diplomatic body to end the prohibition of these substances. To answer the original question, as a drug user, your safest bet is to use a well-known and trusted supplier that is high up on the supply chain and known for accurate labelling.

To make matters worse, the main European Union hub for research chemicals in the Netherlands is now staring down the barrel of massive changes to their laws regarding research chemicals. This ban will not eliminate these drugs from the black market but will eliminate the possibility of a regulated clean market from continuing to serve the EU. This is not the first time such a ban has been threatened and there is, hopefully, still time to prevent this dangerous scapegoating of drug users.

To fight these changes sign the petition in the footnotes below this article.*[2]


[1] https://www.powdercity.com/products/3-fpm/
[2] www.startbeterdrugsbeleid.nl Sign here to fight the Dutch Noid Ban