a synthetic cannabinoid 100 times stronger than weed, is back in NZ
A synthetic cannabinoid drug said to be up to 100 times stronger than the real thing is back in New Zealand, just weeks after apparently being wiped out.
AMB-FUBINACA has been linked to dozens of deaths, providing a massive hit that can leave users acting like "zombies".
"The synthetic cannabinoid AMB-FUBINACA has been detected in a number of locations across New Zealand," an update on the Department of Internal Affairs' (DIA) High Alert website said on Tuesday.
"This is particularly concerning as AMB-FUBINACA has been one of the most deadly illicit substances in NZ in recent years, having been responsible for the majority of [drug] fatalities in 2017-2019."
Invented in 2009 by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, development was abandoned and it was never tested on humans. It later showed up on the black market as a replacement for cannabis.
Synthetic cannabis replacements, also known as legal highs, were popular in the early 2010s, before a crackdown saw them outlawed in 2014. AMB-FUBINACA was first reported here in 2017.