Synthetic Pot In Illinois Causing Severe Bleeding From Eyes And Ears

Synthetic cannabinoids are born in a lab

"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.

In the report, the agency included a comprehensive breakdown of geographic locations that have reported the issue, including eight cases in Chicago, four in Cook County, and one each in Will, DuPage, Kane and McLean counties.

Synthetic cannabis has claimed a life in IL. On Friday, officials clarified that while this can happen, those affected in IL have reported other symptoms, like coughing up blood, blood in urine, bloody noses, bleeding gums and, for women, heavier than usual menstrual flow.

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Though synthetic pot has always been considered unsafe, severe bleeding is not a known side effect, said Dr. Melissa Millewich, an emergency room physician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

Among the reported cases in IL, people have reported buying the products at convenience stores and from dealers and friends, according to the state health department.

They are found in shops, petrol stations, drug parapernalia shops, novelty stores and online. Anyone who believes they may be symptomatic should see their medical provider immediately.

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While there have been no such cases at Good Samaritan's ER, Millewich said, synthetic pot, often called "fake weed", "K2" or "spice", has previously displayed life-threatening symptoms like kidney failure, along with psychosis.

Synthetic cannabis is human-made to simulate the effects of marijuana, they are commonly sprayed on dried plants or consumed through E-cigarettes.

If a person was hospitalized, they could get Vitamin K through an IV, which would work faster on the body, Lank said. These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they act on the same brain cell receptors as the main active ingredient in marijuana. At the same time, nobody knows why this reaction is happening in the first place.

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Officials in the Chicago area warned Thursday about a disturbing trend among users of synthetic marijuana: bleeding from the eyes and ears.

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