"Despite the perception that synthetic cannabinoids are safe and a legal alternative to marijuana, many are illegal and can cause severe illness". There were 10 cases reported in Chicago and four others in Cook County, according to the department of health.
Synthetic cannabinoids are commonly referred to as "K2", "Spice," or "Black Mamba".
Some of these symptoms include coughing up blood, blood in urine, bloody noses, bleeding gums and heavier than usual menstrual flow.
"This bleeding is not expected, at least in such a significant population so quickly", Dr. Melissa Millewich, an emergency room physician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, told the Chicago Tribune.
IL health officials say one person has died after experiencing severe bleeding following the use of synthetic cannabinoids.
"Synthetic cannabinoids contain hundreds of chemicals, and it is hard to know what's in them or how people will react to the ingredients", said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG.
Contaminated products could be circulating in other IL counties, public health officials warned. "The recent cases of severe bleeding are evidence of the harm synthetic cannabinoids can cause", Shah added.
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There is a statewide ban on specific formulas of synthetic marijuana but manufacturers could be slightly changing the formula to sidestep the law and get the products sold, said Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the public health department.
IDPH reports, "Anyone who has a reaction to synthetic cannabinoids should call 911 or have someone take them to the emergency department immediately". It is still a hard task to know about the actual effective thing and what one should know about it as well.
IDPH did not identify the person or specify where in the state the person lived.
Health officials reported 22 known people who experienced the symptom since March 7, and they continue to track the situation, Arnold said.
The drug can be smoked or sold as a liquid which can be vaporized in e-cigarettes.
Officials in the Chicago area warned Thursday about a disturbing trend among users of synthetic marijuana: bleeding from the eyes and ears.