At least one person has died in IL following a recent rash of hospitalizations of people who use synthetic pot and then experience severe bleeding, according to state health officials. There were 10 cases reported in Chicago and four others in Cook County, according to the department of health.
Though synthetic pot has always been considered risky, severe bleeding is not a known side effect, said Dr. Melissa Millewich, an emergency room physician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.
"This bleeding is not expected, at least in such a significant population so quickly", she told the publication.
Despite a statewide ban, Arnold said manufacturers could be slightly tweaking the molecular makeup of the products as a way to "get around" the law, allowing for them to be sold legally.
They are found in shops, petrol stations, drug parapernalia shops, novelty stores and online. Observing JWH-018, a type of synthetic marijuana, the researchers did not find troubling side effects such as, say, bleeding from the eyes.
A change in the latest formula could be behind the new, unsafe symptom, Millewich said.
IL health officials are advising anyone experiencing unexplained bleeding after using synthetic pot to go to the nearest emergency room. "They can contain a variety of chemicals, and users often don't know what those are, such as rat poison", said IDPH Director Dr. Nirav D. Shah. They trigger similar brain cell receptors as the main active ingredient in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), according to the IDPH.
The drug can be smoked or sold as a liquid which can be vaporized in e-cigarettes. They also warn that any recently purchased fake weed products should not be used as the specific brands causing the unusual symptoms have not been identified.
Although numerous people affected by the outbreak have reported acquiring the drugs in the Chicago area, the IDPH said synthetic cannabinoids could also be in other counties across the state. All reported using synthetic cannabinoids. IDPH reports synthetic cannabinoids can have unpredictable, harmful, and deadly reactions when taken.
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