|Summary sheet: JWH-018|
|Substitutive name||JWH-018, AM-678|
|Routes of Administration|
1-Pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (also called AM-678 and JWH-018) is a full agonist synthetic cannabinoid first synthesized by organic chemist John W. Huffman. It gained popularity in late 2008 when German chemists found it as a chemical within the popular synthetic cannabis blend Spice, which had been sold in numerous countries around the world since 2002.
Cannabinoids are commonly smoked or vaporized to achieve a quick onset of effects and rapid offset. JWH-018 is orally active when dissolved in a lipid, which can increase the duration significantly. Like other cannabinoids, it is insoluble in water but dissolves in ethanol and lipids.
Unlike cannabis, the chronic abuse of synthetic cannabinoids has been associated with multiple deaths and more dangerous side effects and toxicity in general. Therefore, it is very strongly discouraged to take this substance for extended periods of time or in excessive doses.
JWH-018, or Naphthalen-1-yl-(1-pentylindol-3-yl)methanone, is a synthetic cannabinoid containing a substituted indole structure. This indole core is shared with other cannabinoid substances including PB-22, 5F-PB-22, JWH-018, and AM2201. JWH-018 is substituted at R1 with a pentyl chain. Additionally, the indole core is substituted at R3 with a carbonyl group which is also bonded to a napthalene moeity. Napthalene is a bicyclic structure of two fused benzene rings. This carbonyl bridge of JWH-018 classifies it as a ketone. JWH-018 is an analog of THJ-018, in which the core indazole structure is substituted with an indole base.
JWH-018 is a full agonist of both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, with a reported binding affinity of 9.00 ± 5.00 nM at CB1 and 2.94 ± 2.65 nM at CB2. However, the role of these interactions and how it results in the cannabinoid high experience continues to remain elusive.
Disclaimer: The effects listed below cite the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), a literature which relies on collected anecdotal reports and the personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be taken with a healthy amount of skepticism. It is worth noting that these effects will not necessarily occur in a consistent or reliable manner, although higher doses (common+) are more likely to induce the full spectrum of reported effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely with higher doses and may include serious injury or death.
- Spontaneous physical sensations - The "body high" of JWH-018 can be described as a warm, soft, and often full body tingling sensation that spreads over the body. It maintains a consistent presence that quickly rises with the onset and hits its limit once the peak has been reached before immediately dissipating. It is often described as being synthetic in feel and not as pleasant or as encompassing as the body high given by traditional cannabis. The JWH-018 body high has also been described by some as being slightly anxiety-inducing or even flat out uncomfortable when compared to the effects given by natural cannabinoids.
- Sedation - Generally, the effects on the user's energy levels are sedating. This encourages one to relax, lie down, and (at higher doses) fall asleep. It produces strong sedative effects that can be described as on par with 5F-PB-22 and more sedating when compared to THC, JWH-073, THJ-018, AM-2201, or 5F-UR-144 but less than that of 5F-AKB48.
- Motor control loss - This substance causes a partial to moderate suppression of motor control which intensifies proportional to dose, but rarely results in a complete inability to walk and perform basic movements. This effect is usually more pronounced with JWH-018 than it is with normal cannabis. Reports at higher dosages describing bad trips describe a horrifying inability to move, as if the user is not in control of their own body. It can be compared to catatonia with convulsions.
- Appetite enhancement - As with many other cannabinoids, JWH-018 causes an increase in appetite, known colloquially as "the munchies" in popular American and United Kingdom culture. Clinical studies and survey data have found that cannabis increases food enjoyment and interest in food. This is thought to be due to the way in which endocannabinoids in the hypothalamus activate cannabinoid receptors that are responsible for maintaining food intake.
- Dehydration - This is known colloquially as "cotton mouth" in popular American and United Kingdom culture. In overdoses, it can become not only discomforting, but even painful.
- Vasodilation - Cannabinoids appear to decrease blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels and increasing blood flow throughout the body. The arteries in the eyeball expand from the decreased blood pressure and the heart rate increases to compensate for the reduction in pressure.
- Increased heart rate JWH-018 causes tachycardia due to vasodilation. This may be mild, but can become severe.
- Pain relief - Cannabinoids have been clinically demonstrated to provide pain relief via agonism of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which extends to synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists.
- Perception of bodily heaviness or Perception of bodily lightness
- Changes in felt gravity - JWH-018, like other cannabinoids, is capable of causing vertigo with which the environment appears to be spinning or oscillating. At moderate doses, it can spontaneously induce the sensation of falling, which can be overwhelming, anxiety-inducing, and extremely uncomfortable. The propensity of this is greatly reduced and eliminated in proportion to tolerance.
- Colour enhancement
- Acuity suppression
- Geometry - As reported with other cannabinoids, JWH-018 can produce closed eye visuals at moderate doses, which can escalate into visual distortions such as a ripples in the field of vision upon continuous administration. Within users who also regularly use psychedelics, it is capable of inducing these consistently in a visual style which seems to be an averaged out depiction of all the psychedelics one has used within the past. These rarely extend beyond level 4 and are considered to be mild, fine, small and zoomed out but brighter and better defined than the geometry experienced with cannabis.
- Emotion enhancement - The most prominent cognitive component of cannabinoids is the way in which they enhance the emotions one is already feeling proportional to dose. This can result in euphoria, extreme laughter, and increased immersion within tasks and activities, or it can result in anxiety and paranoia depending on the user's current state of mind.
- Euphoria - This can be considered very prominent in comparison to THJ-018, AM-2201, and 5F-UR-144 but less intense in comparison to JWH-073.
- Thought connectivity - This can attribute to fluid, more abstract thinking in comparison to linear thought.
- Anxiety - Subjectively, JWH-018 is less anxiogenic and stimulating than Δ9-THC, THJ-018, AM-2201, or 5F-UR-144 but more so than JWH-073. This effect is countered by use of benzodiazepines, other anti-anxiety agents, and a comfortable setting and also lessens with tolerance.
- Panic attacks - JWH-018 is readily capable of inducing a panic attack at higher doses. Typically, it surfaces from paranoia, involves feelings of soon death, feelings of impending doom, and severe paranoia. Combined with the physical effects, these can be extremely overwhelming and may take several minutes of reassuring the user to calm them down. This effect is countered by use of benzodiazepines, other anti-anxiety agents, and a comfortable setting and also lessens with tolerance.
- Conceptual thinking
- Dream suppression
- Immersion enhancement
- Increased music appreciation
- Analysis suppression
- Memory suppression
- Paranoia - All cannabinoids are capable of inducing paranoia at high doses or with chronic administration.
- Psychosis - The prolonged usage of synthetic cannabinoids may increase one's disposition to psychosis, particularly in vulnerable individuals with risk factors for psychotic illnesses (like a past or family history of schizophrenia).
- Thought deceleration
- Psychedelics - When used in combination with psychedelics, cannabinoids are capable of intensifying and extending the duration of both the visual and cognitive effects with extreme efficiency. This should be used with caution if one is not experienced with psychedelics.
- Dissociatives - When used in combination with dissociatives, the geometry, euphoria, dissociation and hallucinatory effects are often greatly enhanced.
- Alcohol - When used in combination with alcohol, cannabinoids can cause feelings of extreme nausea, dizziness and changes in gravity. It is recommended that one smoke before drinking and not the other way around unless they are extremely cautious.
There are currently no anecdotal reports which describe the effects of this compound within our experience index. Additional experience reports can be found here:
Toxicity and harm potential
This toxicity and harm potential section is a stub.
As such, it may contain incomplete or even dangerously wrong information. You can help by expanding or correcting it.
The toxicity and long-term health effects of recreational JWH-018 use do not seem to have been studied in any scientific context and the exact toxic dosage is unknown. This is because the drug has very little history of human usage.
JWH-018, like many synthetic cannabinoids, is a full agonist of the CB1 receptors in contrast to the partial agonist Δ9-THC. Because of this, harm mediated by CB1 receptor agonism can be more severe than its partial agonist counterparts. JWH-018 has caused seizures and convulsions, and evidence suggests this is a result of inhibiting GABA neurotransmission more effectively than Δ9-THC. JWH-018 has also been associated with strokes in two healthy adults.
JWH-018 has also been known to exacerbate pre-existing psychological disorders causing intense paranoia, anxiety and agitation; however, Δ9-THC itself has been known to do this as well. It is often recommended that those with severe pre-existing mental conditions should not ingest these substances due to the way they strongly increase the current state of mind of the person. Also, like THC, prolonged usage of synthetic cannabinoids may increase one's disposition to mental illness and psychosis, especially in vulnerable individuals with risk factors for psychotic illnesses (like a past or family history of psychosis).
It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this drug.
Tolerance and addiction potential
As with other synthetic cannibanoids, the chronic use of JWH-018 can be considered moderately addictive with a high potential for abuse and is capable of causing psychological dependence among certain users. When addiction has developed, cravings and withdrawal effects may occur if a person suddenly stops their usage.
Tolerance to many of the effects of JWH-018 develops with prolonged and repeated use. This results in users having to administer increasingly large doses to achieve the same effects. After that, it takes about 3 - 7 days for the tolerance to be reduced to half and 1 - 2 weeks to be back at baseline (in the absence of further consumption). JWH-018 presents cross-tolerance with all cannabinoids, meaning that after the consumption of JWH-018 all cannabinoids will have a reduced effect.
Although many psychoactive substances are reasonably safe to use on their own, they can quickly become dangerous or even life-threatening when combined with other substances. The list below includes some known dangerous combinations (although it cannot be guaranteed to include all of them). Independent research (e.g. Google, DuckDuckGo) should always be conducted to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe to consume. Some interactions listed have been sourced from TripSit.
- Amphetamines - Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences
- Cocaine - Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences
- Australia: The State of Queensland has listed JWH-018 as a dangerous drug under Drugs Misuse Regulation 1987. It is schedule 2, the same schedule as cannabis.
- Austria: The Austrian Ministry of Health announced on December 18, 2008 that Spice would be controlled under paragraph 78 of their drug law on the grounds that it contains an active substance that affects the functions of the body, and the legality of JWH-018 is under review. JWH-018 is now illegal to possess, produce and sell under the NPSG (Neue-Psychoaktive-Substanzen-Gesetz Österreich).
- Belarus: This substance was banned on January 1, 2010.
- Brazil: Possession, production and sale is illegal as it is listed on Portaria SVS/MS nº 344.
- Canada: JWH-018 is claimed to be a controlled substance in Canada though it is not listed under schedule 2 synthetic cannabinoids.
- China: China has made JWH-018 illegal for sale. It is illegal to import or export JWH-018.
- Estonia: JWH-018 is controlled under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act as of July 24, 2009.
- Finland: This substance was banned on March 12, 2012.
- France: JWH-018 is a controlled substance under Annexe IV as of February 24, 2009.
- Germany: JWH-018 is controlled under Anlage II BtMG (Narcotics Act, Schedule II) as of January 22, 2009. It is illegal to manufacture, possess, import, export, buy, sell, procure or dispense it without a license.
- Ireland: An immediate ban was announced on May 11, 2010 by Minister for Health Mary Harney.
- Italy: This substance was banned on July 2, 2010.
- Latvia: JWH-018 is a controlled substance as of November 28, 2009.
- Lithuania: JWH-018 is a controlled substance as of May 27, 2009.
- Luxembourg: JWH-018 is a controlled substance as of May 4, 2009.
- Norway: This substance was banned on December 21, 2011.
- Poland: JWH-018 is a controlled substance as of May 8, 2009.
- Romania: This substance was banned on February 15, 2010.
- Russia: This substance was banned on January 22, 2010.
- South Korea: This substance was banned on July 1, 2009.
- Sweden: A bill to ban JWH-018 was accepted on July 30, 2009 and entered into force on September 15, 2009.
- Switzerland: JWH-018 is a controlled substance specifically named under Verzeichnis D.
- Turkey: JWH-018 is a classed as drug and is illegal to possess, produce, supply, or import.
- Ukraine: This substance was banned on May 31, 2010.
- United Kingdom: This substance was banned on December 23, 2009.
- United States: This substance was permanently scheduled on July 9, 2012 by Section 1152 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA).
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