Use of Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked to Severe Bleeding in the US

Bleeding from synthetic marijuana up to 95 cases in Illinois

Three people in IL have died after bleeding from synthetic marijuana use, health officials said.

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

NY officials issued the warning Monday, reported the Associated Press, alerting medics that severe bleeding in patients with no clear injury who have used synthetic cannabis known as K2 or Spice could be linked to consumption of the drug.

"The health and safety of New Yorkers is our number one priority", Cuomo said of synthetic marijuana use.

Synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals sprayed on plant matter and smoked or sold as liquids to be used in e-cigarettes. These packets typically consist of plant material coated by chemicals, which are supposed to mimic the effects of naturally grown marijuana.

The Coles County Health Department joined with departments statewide in issuing a warning about possible dangers of synthetic cannabis use. Symptoms may range from unexplained bruising, bleeding from the nose or gums, blood in the urine or stools, coughing up or vomiting blood, to bleeding in the brain.

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"Each day we've seen the number of cases rise", said IDPH director Nirav D. Shah, who emphasized that "synthetic cannabinoids are unsafe". "We urge people not to use synthetic cannabinoids - now or ever", Shah said.

Although the majority of the cases were in IL, including the three deaths, several cases were found in Indiana, Maryland, Missouri and Wisconsin, according to a CDC alert to clinicians released April 5.

"Synthetic cannabinoids are part of a group of drugs called new psychoactive substances (NPS)".

Most of the cases in the outbreak involved synthetic marijuana purchased from Chicago-area convenience stores, dealers, or friends, but officials warn the contaminated products could be in counties across the state or beyond.

Synthetic marijuana, also known as spice, is causing violent behavior and risky overdoses across the country. Health officials say many of them have tested positive for a lethal anticoagulant often used in rat poison.

Anyone who has a reaction to synthetic cannabinoids, such as severe bleeding, should call 911 or have someone take them to the emergency department immediately.

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