It may be illegal, but teens are still using it to get high. A Bakersfield mother said her daughter is addicted to Spice and it's going to take her life if she doesn't stop using it.
"I'm livid. I've gone from tears to anger. I feel so helpless. They can get away from selling it. To me, they are nothing more than drug pushers," said Kay Copus.
Kay Copus said her 15-year-old daughter is addicted to Spice.
"She's now throwing up blood. It's affecting her esophagus. It's basically killing her. It's like a slow death," she continued.
Copus said her daughter has ended up in the hospital seven times after she overdosed on the drug.
"It makes her very violent and she usually has to be restrained. She has run out and the doctor had to take his own car and stop her down the road," explained Copus.
Spice looks like crushed leaves or kitchen herbs. It's sold under different names like K2 and Black Mamba. Its effects are similar to marijuana.
Copus said her daughter buys Spice at America Fantasy Smoke Shop in Oildale.
"We make sure to tell people this is not for human consumption. And, we put it on the label," said Abdula Alshaif from America Fantasy Smoke Shop.
Spice is marketed as incense, but designed for snorting or smoking.
"Individuals end up smoking it and what it does since it's not organic, it's chemical, it's kind of like frying your brain," continued Alshaif.
Alshaif said the store sold about 20 bags of Spice a week until they ran out of it two weeks ago.
"Business went down. Instead of me making $500 a day, right now all I'm making is $200," said Alshaif.
"From the research we've done, Spice is about ten times stronger than marijuana," said Jenny Wilson, Director of Nursing for Emergency Services and Women Services at Memorial Hospital.
At Memorial Hospital, doctors say there has been an increase in treating addicts.
"Patients normally say that they have hallucinations, get very anxious, feel like they're going to die," continued Wilson.
"There have been cases where teens have actually have Hydrocephalus, which is a swelling of the brain from this drug," she explained.
The federal government has banned the chemicals in Spice. But, manufacturers just change the drug's chemical formula enough to avoid breaking the law.
"It's kind of like playing Whack-A-Mole. It can be very difficult. We're constantly trying to keep up with these new changes," said Casey Rettig, Special Agent, Drug Enforcement Agency.
As the Drug Enforcement Agency tries to keep up with the changes, Copus is trying desperately to save her daughter, before it's too late.
"I don't want to bury my daughter. She's only 15. She's overdosed seven times so far, and one of those times could be the time," said Copus.
Doctors say because Spice is so new, the long-term effects haven't been studied.