The Centers for Disease Control has updated its warning that synthetic cannabinoids are being sold with a chemical used in rat poison, causing dangerous bleeding and death.
Pete Schade, Erie County’s health commissioner, said Tuesday he wants the community to be aware that using synthetic cannabinoids is dangerous.
The CDC’s late November update to an earlier warning states there have been at least eight deaths in the U.S. caused by the outbreak. None of the deaths or illnesses so far have been in Ohio, but people have been stricken in neighboring states.
The federal agency said the deaths and illnesses to hundreds are caused by the fact that some synthetic cannabinoids contain brodifacoum, a chemical used as rat poison that can cause uncontrolled bleeding.
Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as “herbal incense,” “herbal smoking blends,” “K2,” “Spice” and “Synthetic Marijuana,” is sold as an alternative to marijuana.
“It’s life-threatening,” Schade said. “It’s not a safe alternative, especially with the issue they have with this current product being contaminated.”
If you used the stuff and you are worried about your health, see a doctor, the CDC says.
“Synthetic cannabinoid produces users who develop any unusual bruising or bleeding should immediately seek medical attention,” the agency states.
The CDC said even if you manage to avoid getting the rat poison, smoking synthetic cannabinoids is not a good idea.
“Synthetic cannabinoid products are always dangerous because it is impossible for people to know what chemicals are in the product, how much they are being exposed to, and how their body will react to the chemicals,” the agency stated.