Person dies in IL after using fake marijuana

The health effects of using synthetic cannabinoids can be unpredictable, unsafe and possibly life-threatening because it's hard to know what's in them or how a person will be react to them.

Healthcare providers, schools and health departments encountering unusual cases of bleeding in individuals should inquire about potential exposures to synthetic marijuana. 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.

Synthetic pot is made up of hundreds of different chemicals - and their effect on the human body is unpredictable.

There is a common misconception among users that synthetic weed is a safer, legal alternative to marijuana. Whether it's nose bleeds, bleeding from their gums, bleeding in their urine.

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Synthetic cannabinoids are commonly referred to as "K2", "Spice," or "Black Mamba". "The recent cases of severe bleeding are evidence of the harm synthetic cannabinoids can cause", said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah in a statement. How quickly someone's body could eliminate brodifacoum varies on a case-by-case basis because it is dependent on the quantity consumed and how the poison was ingested.

Last week, the state public health department sent a memo to pharmacies and pharmacists across the state warning they might see patients with prescriptions of unusually high doses of Vitamin K because of the recent outbreak.

Even though the incidents were mostly in the Chicago area, the drug could be affecting people statewide, said department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold.

While patients visiting emergency rooms with symptoms of bleeding is relatively new, a report from Forbes noted synthetic pot products have previously been linked to intense anxiety, paranoia, seizures, psychosis, and confusion.

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"If you use synthetic drugs, you're playing Russian roulette with your life", Smith said.

They're urging anyone who bought synthetic-cannabinoid products in the last month to refrain from using them.

Chicago Tribune's Kate Thayer contributed.

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