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Fake pot users suffer brain bleeding, bloody urine, Illinois health officials warn

Severe nosebleeds, bloody urine and blood on the brain are all symptoms of synthetic cannabinoid products, Illinois Department of Public Health says. (Photo: Chalabala, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Illinois Department of Public Health is warning people about disturbing symptoms of using fake pot or marijuana after reports of severe bleeding.

At least 32 people who reported using synthetic cannabinoids since March 7 suffered severe bleeding, IDPH said in a statement this week.

Fake pot is not made up of one drug, but rather hundreds of unknown, unregulated chemicals IDPH spokesperson Melaney Arnold told USA TODAY.

The drug has caused blood in urine, bloody noses, bleeding gums, higher menstrual flows and bleeding into the brain, Arnold said. Another possible symptom is bleeding from the eyes and ears.

While there have been no reported cases of death, Arnold said symptoms can be life threatening.

“At this time, IDPH is not reporting any deaths, but that may change,” she said.

IDPH warns contaminated products could be sold across the state in convenience stores and from dealers.

Cases were reported in eight Illinois counties. Tazewell County near Peoria reported 10 cases, the most of any county. Chicago County had eight, Peoria County had six and Cook County had four.

“Synthetic cannabinoids are unsafe,” Arnold said. “People who have used these products and develop any bleeding issues or have concern about any health effects should seek immediate medical attention.”

Fake marijuana or weed has caused at least 32 people to bleed severely, the Illinois Department of Public Health warns.

Synthetic weed warning: Drug can cause “very severe bleeding,” Illinois health officials say

March 30, 2018 / 12:37 PM / CBS News

CHICAGO — Illinois health officials have issued a warning about a disturbing new symptom of synthetic marijuana : severe bleeding. According to the Illinois Department of Health, 22 cases have been linked to the drug since March 7, mostly in the Chicago area.

“We want to alert people to the dangers of using synthetic cannabinoids,” Dr. Jennifer Layden, the chief medical officer of the Illinois Department of Public Health, told CBS Chicago. “With this particular cluster, what we are seeing is people are coming in with various types of bleeding. Whether it’s nose bleeds, bleeding from their gums, bleeding in their urine. Very severe bleeding that’s prompting them to go to the emergency room.”

Synthetic weed is often packaged under the names K2, Spice , or Black Mamba, among others. These are human-made, mind-altering chemicals that can impact brain function, create hallucinations, delusions and even violent behavior. The chemicals are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material to be smoked or sold as liquids that can be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes or similar devices.

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Chicago police recently shut down a corner store in the Lawndale area of the city after an investigation found clerks selling potentially deadly synthetic cannabis. It’s not known whether the store is linked to any of the recent illnesses.

“People have reported purchasing it from various convenience stores, dealers or acquiring it from friends. The vast majority have reported acquiring the product in the Chicagoland area,” Layden said.

In a statement, the health department says it’s possible contaminated products could also be in other counties across the state.

Synthetic Drug Surge
  • Officials warn of drug called “gray death”
  • “Zombie” drug K2 blamed for dozens of ODs
  • 3 deaths tied to excessive bleeding from synthetic weed
  • Synthetic weed blamed for “very severe bleeding”
  • Suburban mom takes down drug ring she says killed her son

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Health officals urge anyone who has bought these products not to use them. If anyone has used them and experiences severe, unexplained bleeding or bruising, they should be brought to the hospital immediately.

First published on March 30, 2018 / 12:37 PM

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"What we are seeing is people are coming in with various types of bleeding… nose bleeds, bleeding from their gums, bleeding in their urine," health officials say