Synthetic cannabinoids linked to 22 cases of severe bleeding in NE Illinois

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Someone has died in Illinois after using synthetic marijuana, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Saturday. "What we are seeing is people are coming in with various types of bleeding", CBS Chicago quotes the chief medical officer of the Illinois Department of Public Health as saying. The agency said it was "continuing to investigate the outbreaks to try to identify a common product".

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

Synthetic cannabinoids are not one drug, but hundreds of different chemicals manufactured and sold.

Synthetic cannabinoids fall into a category of drugs called new psychoactive substances, which are unregulated mind-altering substances that are newly available on the market and meant to cause the same effects as illegal drugs, according to IDPH. They are also sold on the street, she said, and those experiencing the bleeding said they obtained the products in convenience stores and from dealers and friends.

Although synthetic cannabinoid products have been on health officials' radar for quite some time, this is the first time severe bleeding has been reported as a side effect.

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"Synthetic cannabinoids have become popular because users often believe that it's legal and safe, but that's just not the case", department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold told NBC News. Whether it's nose bleeds, bleeding from their gums, bleeding in their urine. Still, patients typically only would be kept in the hospital for a few days and then would have to consume the vitamin orally.

"Although unusual to see such high doses prescribed, due to the long-acting nature of this poisoning, these high doses are required", the memo stated.

Synthetic pot is causing a bloody mess in the Chicago area.

"These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they act on the same brain cell receptors as the main active ingredient in marijuana", IDPH explained, warning that the drug's impact can be life-threatening.

Chicago Tribune's Kate Thayer contributed.

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