Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

89 hospitalized and 2 dead in IL after using synthetic marijuana

89 hospitalized and 2 dead in IL after using synthetic marijuana

"Despite the perception that synthetic cannabinoids are safe and a legal alternative to marijuana, many are illegal and can cause severe illness", IDPH director Dr. Nirav D. Shad said in a news release.

The reported death comes less than a week after IL officials reported an outbreak of 89 cases since March 7 of severe bleeding linked to contaminated drugs. Only two people have been known to have died from smoking synthetic weed, and many others have been sent to the hospital.

Wisconsin health officials say there's been a confirmed case of severe bleeding related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids in the state.

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The state's Department of Public Health last week said around 70 people have been treated for severe side effects from fake pot.

Synthetic cannabinoids - often called Spice, K2, or fake weed - are human-made mind-altering chemicals either sprayed on dried shredded plant material, or sold as a liquid to be vaporized and inhaled. As of Friday, at least one person has shown symptoms of the condition believed to be caused by synthetic marijuana products like K2, which weakens the body's blood-clotting ability. The majority of the reported cases are said to be in the Chicago area, and Peoria and Tazewell counties.

Synthetic cannabinoids are sometimes manufactured with undisclosed toxic ingredients.

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The substance, brodifacoum, is an off-white, odorless powder poison, widely used to kill rodents that have become resistant to existing poisons. The chemicals act on brain receptors and produce results similar to that of marijuana use, experts say. In fact, they are not safe and may affect the brain much more powerfully than marijuana; their actual effects can be unpredictable and, in some cases, more risky or even life-threatening. All reported using synthetic cannabinoids.

"As bleeding can be life-threatening, it is important that people who have used synthetic marijuana seek medical attention at the first sign of poisoning so we can begin treatment right away".

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