Alarm sounded on new form of synthetic marijuana

It is often sprayed on dried plants so it can also be smoked, vaped or otherwise consumed similarly.

Almost 100 people in five different states have been treated for severe bleeding after using synthetic marijuana, also known as K2, fake weed or spice.

The guidance instructs hospitals and clinics to be on the lookout for people complaining of severe bleeding not related to an injury, or when the bleeding started after using synthetic marijuana. Those sickened have reported blood in the urine, severe bloody noses, bleeding gums and internal bleeding.

The number was 56 cases a week ago.

Other states, including Indiana, Maryland, Missouri and Wisconsin, have reported cases involving patients with severe bleeding after synthetic marijuana use. "While efforts are under way to get contaminated drugs out of circulation, it's possible they could re-emerge".

"Overdose deaths have been attributed to the abuse of synthetic cannabinoids, including death by heart attack", according to the website of the Drug Enforcement Agency.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "This disturbing outbreak proves yet again the dangers of using synthetic marijuana". This makes synthetic marijuana both extremely unpredictable and unsafe.

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A 22-year-old man from Chicago died at an Oak Lawn hotel after using synthetic marijuana, according to the Oak Lawn Police Department (OLPD).

The chemicals are similar to those found in natural marijuana.

The drugs can be found at convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores, and online. While they are meant to mimic the effects of marijuana, they are often far more risky for users.

Federal officials say the synthetic cannabinoids were packaged in sealed containers and labeled with such names as "Matrix", "Blue Giant" and "Crazy Monkey".

MI health officials issued a warning to the public to be aware of the cases.

Synthetic cannabinoids are classified as a controlled substance and their possession can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the amount possessed.

The CDC and the IDPH are urging anyone who has a reaction to synthetic cannabinoids, including severe bleeding, to seek emergency medical treatment.

  • Marjorie Miles