Reports of severe bleeding linked to synthetic pot on rise in IL

Lydia Fleming
April 2, 2018

"Despite the perception that synthetic cannabinoids are safe and a legal alternative to marijuana, many are illegal and can cause severe illness", said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. There were 10 cases reported in Chicago and four others in Cook County, according to the department of health.

Since 2015 hundreds of people across the United States have overdosed and been hospitalized after smoking too much or bad batches of synthetic cannabis. The symptoms have included patients coughing up blood, blood in the urine, a severe bloody nose, or bleeding gums.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported some 22 cases of excessive bleeding of the eyes and ears over the past few weeks, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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Anyone who starts experiencing symptoms, including severe bleeding or bruising, should be taken to the hospital immediately, the IDPH said. They can contain a variety of chemicals, and users often don't know what those are, such as rat poison.

If a person was hospitalized, they could get Vitamin K through an IV, which would work faster on the body, Lank said.

This is the first time that severe bleeding has been associated with the drugs known as cannabinoids, a mix of hundreds of chemicals that act on the same brain cell receptors as the active ingredient in marijuana. "The vast majority have reported acquiring the product in the Chicagoland area", Layden said.

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Shah says they're unsafe because it's hard to know what chemicals they contain or what an individual's reaction will be. The products are also sometimes referred to as herbal or liquid incense.

Someone has died in Illinois after using synthetic marijuana, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Saturday.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found there's also an association between teens who use synthetic pot and a heightened risk for violent behavior, risky sex and abuse of other drugs.

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They're urging anyone who bought synthetic-cannabinoid products in the last month to refrain from using them.

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