Urgent warning for synthetic cannabis users

PEORIA — The Peoria City/County Health Department and UnityPoint Health issued an urgent warning Wednesday about synthetic cannabis, which can cause life-threatening bleeding that may start internally and be initially difficult to detect.

The warning cited “multiple cases in the greater Peoria area of people suffering from severe bleeding after smoking a drug containing synthetic cannabinoids,” said Dr. Gary Knepp, vice president and regional chief quality officer for UnityPoint Health, during an afternoon news conference at the Methodist Atrium Building. “This report was followed by an Illinois Poison Control Center report that they had been consulted on 17 suspected cases in Chicago, Joliet and Peoria.”

Synthetic cannabinoids mimic the effect of the cannabis plant. Often called K2 or Spice, the drug is sprayed onto a plant material and smoked. Synthetic cannabinoids are generally more potent and intense than cannabis, said Dr. Kirk Moberg, executive director of UnityPoint Health Illinois Institute of Addiction Recovery.

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Renken, Leslie. “Urgent warning for synthetic cannabis users.” www.pjstar.com. 28 March 2018. Web. 9 April 2018.