We at Asylum cannot condone the use of illegal drugs. If one of our people gets busted doing so -- and this is a direct quote from the Asylum style manual -- "you will be [redacted] for all eternity by barb-[redacted]-ed demons, and no one will mourn you."

Legal drugs, however, are a whole other ball of serotonin, and using them is your right and indeed your duty as a free American citizen. It is in that spirit that we, your humble psychonauts, set forth recently to get totally baked on legal synthetic marijuana.

Patent pot, pseudo-sensimilla, test-tube THC. The particular strain we acquired goes by the name K2 (because K2 is high, get it?) and made recent news as the scourge of Kansas City's youth.

Keep reading for more about K2 and video evidence of how it works on Asylum's guinea pigs.

The active ingredient could be any of the synthetic cannabinoids that Big Pharma has developed since Pfizer dropped CP 55,940 in 1974, such as Levonantradol, Nabilone, Dronabinol or something else referred to by a nonsensical name. Regardless, the substance is close enough to THC to do the same tricks -- in theory. But does it work in practice?

Legal or not, it's probably a bad idea to go around blindly hoovering up every psychoactive substance you can get off eBay, so we solicited the advice of an expert. Here's what Asylum's medical adviser had to say:

K2, et al, are making or buying chemicals that act just like pot's active ingredient, THC, then saturating otherwise useless herbs with these. Once sprayed on, the herbs can be used just like pot and with essentially the same effect. There isn't much known on what the potential toxicity of these are -- so far, not much. My guess, is that they aren't particularly harmful. The only health issue that has come up is the same for many herbal products. Analysis has found that the listed ingredients (i.e., the various herbs, botanicals, etc.) often don't match what's actually in the bag and sometimes are potentially harmful.

In other words, there have been no reports of synth-weed smokers having to relearn how to tie their shoes, which was the main concern. The slight risk of a poisonous dose of calendula is something we can live with.

Does K2 work? The answer is a qualified yes. For those of us who have never used the real stuff, or at least not since the statute of limitations ran out, it seems to be in the ballpark. It'll get you high. Then again, so will smoking a pack of cigarettes while drinking a pot of coffee. So will a week without sleep.

But is K2 a high you want? To us, the experience was certainly powerful. It was smoothly controlled. But it was also utterly without personality. It was an altered state; it just wasn't that interesting of an altered state. In the words of a nameless and hell-bound smoker of the real stuff: "Shwag. K2 is to good herb what an mp3 is to live music. It sounds close, but the details are chopped off."

When they first synthesized THC, the pharmaceutical companies wanted to keep the healthy part (i.e., the medicine) while getting rid of the unhealthy part (i.e., the fun). The good news is that it failed, which made products like K2 possible. The bad news is that they succeeded just enough to make products like K2 suck.