IL officials report one death from synthetic cannabinoids

Illinois man dead from'fake weed

Health officials in IL are warning people that synthetic marijuana can cause bleeding from the ears and eyes, according to news reports. Tazewell County also reported 10 cases, while Peoria County logged six.

Synthetic cannabis has claimed a life in IL.

Hundreds of people across the U.S. have been hospitalized or killed as a result of synthetic pot in recent years as health officials struggle to regulate the substance. At the same time, nobody knows why this reaction is happening in the first place.

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.

All cases have required hospitalization for symptoms such as coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose, or bleeding gums, IDPH said. Since health officials are not entirely certain of the chemical makeup for most synthetic pot products, discovering what new substance may have been added is very hard. It's not known whether the store is linked to any of the recent illnesses.

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According to a statement released by the IDPH, synthetic cannabinoids are human-made, mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed on dried plant material. The process is often inconsistent and leads to variations in product strength and effects.

There is a common misconception among users that synthetic weed is a safer, legal alternative to marijuana. The end product can be packaged for smoking or converted to a liquid for use in e-cigarettes or similar devices.

Health officials have issued a warning against synthetic marijuana after users experienced risky effects. 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.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found there's also an association between teens who use synthetic pot and a heightened risk for violent behavior, risky sex and abuse of other drugs.

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