John W. Huffman
|John W. Huffman|
|Alma mater||Northwestern University
John William Huffman (born 1932) is a professor emeritus of organic chemistry at Clemson University who first synthesised many novel cannabinoids. His research, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, was focused on making a drug to target endocannabinoid receptors in the body.
Beginning in 1984, Huffman and his team of researchers began developing cannabinoid compounds to aid in research of multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and chemotherapy. Over the course of twenty years, Huffman and his team developed 450 synthetic cannabinoid compounds which were used to test the effect of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other organs. Ultimately, the cannabinoid research provided understanding of diseases and information for medication development. In the late 2000s, two of Huffman's cannabinoid compounds began being sold in Germany as marijuana alternatives known as K2 and Spice. "I figured once it got started in Germany it was going to spread. I'm concerned that it could hurt people," Huffman said. "I think this was something that was more or less inevitable. It bothers me that people are so stupid as to use this stuff". Huffman may have developed these compounds for scientific research, but now he gets blamed for its abuse. As JWH-018 is more potent and easy to make, Huffman believes it is a more widely used synthetic cannabinoid of the JWH series.
More than half a dozen countries have banned herbal blends containing synthetic cannabinoids since 2008. Many countries also consider banning these mixtures. In the US, the states of Kansas, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and New York banned K2, herbal incense. JWH-018 is currently banned by controlled substances act. 
Law enforcement officials in Canada asked Huffman to serve as a consultant and expert witness. He received numerous media queries and requests for analytical help from law enforcement officials.
- "Clemson University :: Department of Chemistry". Clemson.edu. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Brownstein, Joseph (March 17, 2010), K2 Giving People Another Dangerous Way to Get High, ABC News
- Wang, Linda (June 28, 2010). "C&EN Talks With John W. Huffman". Chemical & Engineering News. 88 (26): 43. Retrieved October 8, 2011.