China will become the world's first country to regulate all synthetic cannabinoid substances, in a bid to get ahead of new variations whose chemical properties are not yet subject to regulation, the country's drugs control office said on Tuesday.
Synthetic cannabinoids are lab-made drugs originally designed to produce similar effects to cannabis, but which are often far stronger and carry a greater health risk, Deng Ming, deputy director of China's National Narcotics Control Commission, said at a briefing.
Some of the drugs in China were being produced domestically, though some were also being smuggled from abroad, he added.
In April 2019 China added fetanyl-related substances to a list of controlled narcotics drugs, after criticism from former U.S. President Donald Trump for allowing the synthetic opioid to be shipped to the United States.
The number of drug users in China has dropped in recent years from around four million to one million, another official said, without specifying the time frame for the drop.
Deng Ming, Deng, Yu Haibin, Yu, Donald Trump
National Narcotics Control Commission, Thomson
China, Xinjiang, United States