A Warning For Synthetic Marijuana Users

Simon Moss
April 2, 2018

Health officials in IL are warning people that synthetic marijuana can cause bleeding from the ears and eyes, according to news reports. Roughly 10 of the cases were in Tazewell and Peoria Counties.

Since 2015 hundreds of people across the U.S. have overdosed and been hospitalized after smoking too much or bad batches of synthetic cannabis.

Even though the incidents were mostly in the Chicago area, the drug could be affecting people statewide, said department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold. "What we are seeing is people are coming in with various types of bleeding", CBS Chicago quotes the chief medical officer of the Illinois Department of Public Health as saying.

Some of these symptoms include coughing up blood, blood in urine, bloody noses, bleeding gums and heavier than usual menstrual flow.

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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. Since health officials are not entirely certain of the chemical makeup for most synthetic pot products, discovering what new substance may have been added is very hard.

According to the IDPH, synthetic cannabinoids are human-made, mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed on dried plant material. The process is often inconsistent and leads to variations in product strength and effects.

Synthetic cannabinoids fall into a category of drugs called new psychoactive substances, which are unregulated mind-altering substances that are newly available on the market and meant to cause the same effects as illegal drugs, according to IDPH. But officials believe that number will grow, as it's possible contaminated products have been sold across the state. Patients have reported getting synthetic pot from dealers, friends, and convenience stores, and officials are trying to identify a single product linking the cases. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found the use of fake weed can increase risky and violent behaviors, particularly among teens.

Millewich added that a change in the formula used in the drug could be behind the bleeding, but because health officials don't know the exact makeup of the products, exactly what's causing the bleeding is unclear.

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